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      In 2010 I was awarded two patents for a "Security Television Simulator" invention, essentially a means to produce varying light patterns that can be projected on blinds, curtains, or an inside wall, such that it appears as though someone is inside watching TV. A randomly flashing light -- even when multi-colored -- doesn't to the trick. The key is to emulate the swells, fades, and flicks of scene changes, something right up the alley for a little computer driving super-bright LEDs.
      A manufacturer based out of Minneapolis -- Hydreon Corp. -- liked the idea, and designed a product around the concept. Thus was born the FakeTV (now available in three models). In 2014 I sold the rights to the inventions to Hydreon for a modest percentage of the sales.
      It's clear that the best inventions spring from personal needs, and I built my original prototype specifically so that I could use it when we went away on vacations. The idea to patent it followed. Today, I use two Hydreon units essentially anytime we leave the house in the evening.


      The contraption on the left is my prototype invention -- the one I used for a couple of years until Hydreon developed the FakeTV. The plastic cap on top serves to diffuse the light of the super-bright LEDs, and once existed as the container for electrical tape. The white globs around the bottom of the plastic cap are hot-glue. By the way, if you're noodling an idea that you think could be patented, know that duct tape is very old-school -- hot-glue, lads and lasses, is the inventors true friend.