THNE Tech Blog

The Defender

By: Janice Harvey

Owning a tiny home is a unique experience. It is growing in popularity for many reasons: it is significantly less expensive than owning a home, yet provides a level of privacy that living in an apartment cannot provide; it significantly reduces an individual’s “footprint”, which resonates well with environmentalists and environmentally-friendly citizens; and it is a very good way to live more simply for those who are tired of day to day clutter.

However, it can be daunting to be a tiny home owner. Many tiny home owners live alone, and with this comes the natural concern about security. While having an alarm system is an efficient way of protecting your home when you are gone, there are concerns about protecting yourself and your domain when you are actually in residence. There are many ways of addressing this concern, and many of them involve modern technologies and gadgets. This post is going to focus on an upcoming gadget, the “Defender”, which will be released around February of 2015, however they are available for preorder now.

The Defender is really a two way tool: it can be used for personal defense, but also can act as a medical alert device. For the purpose of this post, I will be focusing on its personal defense aspects – see the FAQ section of the website listed below for more information about medical alerts.

This device is a small black tube, about 5 inches long, with an orange button on the top. It comes with a camera, a dose of law enforcement-grade pepper spray (before using this product, or buying it, it is highly suggested that the individual check the laws of their particular state to see if the strength of pepper spray is regulated), as well as a speaker and light. The app on the phone contains photo storage, as well as an emergency contact list in case of medical emergencies.

Using this product is very simple. All you must do is activate the app on their phone to activate the product (it is suggested that when you are home alone that you keep the app on and running). A little green light on the bottom of the device will turn on to indicate that the device is ready for use. When being attacked, or threatened, hold the device in front of you, making sure to keep the pepper spray and camera facing in the right direction, and press the orange button. The camera will activate, taking a clear picture of the perpetrator (which is immediately forwarded to a 24/7 response team that will dispatch police, and/or medical personnel to the location immediately), then the pepper spray is deployed which will disable the criminal until the emergency personnel can arrive. At this time, lights go off, and an alarm sounds, to keep the criminal disoriented and away from the user. The photo is logged on your phone for later use or reference.

All in all, this is a useful tool to have on hand at any time. However, for a single homeowner it can provide peace of mind. In a quick movement, you get a picture, you have defended yourself, and alerted the authorities to the disturbance. There is a flash on the camera, which makes it useful any time of day, and it is small enough to be easily kept on person and accessed at a moment’s notice all for a relatively low cost - 49¢ a day (about $14.70 for a month).

If you are interested in this product, want more information on it, or wish to pre-order it for yourself, please visit:, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Unless “off-the-grid” also means off-the-communications-grid, your smartphone, tablet or cellphone is probably your safety net to summon help from your tiny house. From police to fire and medical emergencies, to alerting your town that one of the big trees that used to conceal your tiny house...

- I mean, that provided privacy - fell onto the street that connects your vehicle with the world, they have become uncomfortably important to have powered all the time. That small electronic computing device needs to be charged and ready to use at all times.

Solar is a great option, and it's getting better. I happened to see this now when I needed to return a T House order of curtains (wrong orange !) to Amazon: RAVPower Foldable Solar Panel Charger. It's $49.99 (further reduced from 60. as of April 10, 2015) and looks genuinely useful.

Eco-note: No solar power nor any renewable energy can automatically be tagged as "sustainable" without answering a few questions about the product. For example, if your solar charger has been shipped from China (likely) and whose production required, for example, high energy, a lot of virgin materials and created a lot of waste in the process, then the recharger you plan to have for a couple years (time is factored in too!) may not be your best option if comprehensive sustainability is your goal. Just saying.

Tim highlights another Tech Insight below.

Best regards, Isa

Cool gadgets that might improve your daily life.

bracelets that charge mobile devicesI hear complaints so many times a week about short battery life of the ever present side kick, the smart phone. I often find myself underusing my devise to preserve its battery life for essential communication.

If you're not close to a power source and have the exact power cable on hand every four hours or so you may find this supporting device useful, the Qbracelet, a phone charger that you wear! They come in four colors/finishes and three sizes. It looks nicely constructed and possibly a nice addition to your fashion accessories yet useful in the modern world.

I always feel the need to view in person, touch, feel and try it on for fit and comfort. Only time will tell how well it works and how practical it can be to our daily lives.

THNE can't vouch for this product; good or bad, but it's ideas like these that coax creative thinking.

In the meantime it never hurts to be smarter than your phone and take advantage of some of the battery life eating features by turning them OFF. Check out these suggestions: PC Advisor and

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