The Skunklock is a $109 crowdfunded gadget that contains pressurized vomit-inducing gas the creators call "Formula D_1," and which is intended to induce immediate vomiting when inhaled, as well as difficulty breathing, "A lot of similar symptoms to pepper spray."
We need to hope that thieves never operate in the vicinity of people with asthma, but on the plus side, if the technology catches on then all you'll need to do is slap a "Skunklock" sticker on a regular lock and it should scare away any thieves who don't work with gas-masks and goggles.
The inventors have not yet tested the device on an actual would-be thief, but have tested it on themselves and volunteers at distances of two feet (60cm), five feet, 10ft and 20ft. "At two feet it was pretty bad. It was absolutely vomit inducing in 99% of people. At five feet it's very noticeable and the initial reaction is to move away from it. At 10ft it's definitely detectable and very unpleasant."
Bike thieves have had virtually free rein around San Francisco and the Bay area for years, stealing thousands every year, turning warehouses and underpasses into chop shops, victimizing residents and city officials alike. Last year the thefts prompted a 20/20 news segment, and city police estimated that eight in 10 bikes in a chop shop are stolen. Anecdotal evidence supports the statistics: on Thursday, a Mission resident told the Guardian that thieves had recently strolled into his garage and cut three bikes from their locks on the wall.
SKUNKLOCK: The only bike lock that Fights Back.
Bike lock developed that makes thieves immediately vomit
[Alan Yuhas/The Guardian]
(via Naked Capitalism)