Motor Mouths

With the growing popularity of car security systems that can talk, it might be time to consider a new kind of emissions control

Invisibeam's messages are studio-recorded by professionals in nine different languages and dialects, including English and Spanish, and rap versions of both. All voices are male. Nykerk says he once tested a female version but found that customers "did not think it was forceful enough."

Indeed, the Invisibeam's messages, especially the rap version, sound forceful enough to border on hostility.

"Yo, I know you want to look inside, but I suggest you step away from the ride," a truck will announce, filling even a reasonable person with the desire to dance on its hood.

"Ease back from the ride," it adds if the intruder stands his ground. "Stop hangin' around, 'cause if you don't my alarm will sound."

The promise of such an exciting development makes the prospect of leaving even less likely.

"You violated the perimeter!" the low voice bellows. "You've got five seconds to leave the scene. Five! Four! Three! Two! One!"

No explosion, just an alarm and the voice, hollering, "Someone is trying to break into my ride!"

At Sounds Good Stereo, Mark Lewin maintains that there are many similarly priced systems that will do a better job without all the macho blather. He recommends basic features such as an ignition kill switch, which disables the car in the event of a break-in. If a consumer wants to spend a lot of money, he adds, there are better things to purchase than cheap talk. For example, $2000 will buy the CallGuard system, manufactured by California-based Clifford Electronics. It allows one to wrest control of his car from a thief after it has been stolen -- even as it's barreling up an interstate. The car's cellular phone is programmed to call the owner at a preset telephone or beeper number, then offer a number of options -- "Press '1' to turn off the engine. Press '2' to roll up the windows. Press '3' to speak to the unauthorized person in your car."

This last option, no doubt, is bound to lead to profanity and other aggressive language, in this instance aimed at someone who's truly guilty. Too bad we can't all afford it.

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What's the model of this alarm and where can I buy it? I remembered It came out when I was in High School but now I wanted to purchase it. Thanks.

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