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What is a USB Motion Detector?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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A USB motion detector is a device hooked up to a computer that can sense motion in a set range. These devices operate through Universal Serial Bus or USB connectivity. They plug into rectangular ports on the sides and back of newer desktop computers and laptops. A USB motion detector helps a computer user set up his or her machine to perform more tasks related to a physical environment.

Typically, a USB motion detector uses code modules to arrange for specific functions related to computer activities that are triggered by physical motion in the target space. Motion detectors were classically used in a home security system or driveway motion detector. Now a home computer can be programmed to help with home surveillance.

Having USB motion detector devices available to the public helps to promote more diverse uses for a computer or laptop. In the past, personal computers have largely been limited to doing tasks based on electronics and a “virtual” environment, often focused on the Internet. Computers have a lot of potential to respond to all kinds of physical conditions in their environments, including temperature, motion, voice command, and any other kinds of stimuli. With devices like a USB motion detector, businesses can start to help computer owners to do more kinds of “hands-on” programming that advances the range of uses for their computer.

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Those who buy a USB motion detector can set it up to work in specific ways for various purposes. As a presentation aid, the user can set up the USB device so that every time they wave their hand in front of it, the computer switches to a new PowerPoint slide or web page. Some buyers can set up their USB motion detector to change their computer screen any time their boss (or anyone else) walks by. As a security device, users with the right software could set up their USB device to alert them remotely on a smart phone when someone walks in front of the device (and their computer).

A USB motion detector will usually not take up a lot of room. It doesn’t have complicated physical features. It is generally just a box with a protected inner sensor, and most of the setup involves the USB connection and use, not assembling or adjusting the physical device. Electronics companies are focusing on making “user friendly” motion detector devices that a wide range of people can easily use to empower their home networks to respond to a physical stimulus.

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