Escape the Wolf Photo Trap

Escape the Wolf Photo Trap

Have you ever wondered if someone had messed with your stuff while you were gone? There is a neat, new way to find out. The Photo Trap app from Escape the Wolf allows you to take a “before” picture and easily compare it with an “after” picture. With the app you can easily tell if anything has been moved. Here’s how it works:

Escape the Wolf Photo Trap

To use the PhotoTrap, open the app and click the “+” at top right. This will open a dialogue with the name of the series; by default this is the current date and time. Click “OK” and the app will access your camera. Take a photograph of the things you want to keep tabs on, taking careful note of exactly where you are standing and the orientation of the phone (more on this later).

When you return to your house/hotel room/office, open the app back up. From the menu, select the appropriate series. A ghost image of the original photo will be superimposed on the screen; use it to align the second photo as closely as possible. This is why it is important to remember exactly where you were standing and how you were holding the phone. Aligning the second photo can be difficult. The camera has to be the same distance from the subject, and rotated correctly on three axis. I recommend indexing the phone against something at a known distance. Practice helps, too.

Photo Trap

After the second photo is captured, you can toggle back and forth between them. This doesn’t seem like a huge feature, but the differences really jump out.

Photo Trap
Even though the “before” and “after” photos were not perfectly aligned, the differences are pretty obvious. Check out the Mac power cable and the USB flash drive.

One of the best items for use with the Photo Trap: a tangled pair of ear buds. If I have to leave my computer unattended I thow my ear buds on top. If anyone wants to open my computer, they’ll have to disturb the earbuds. I have spent way to much time playing with this and have yet to reposition them perfectly. I’m sure it could be done but it would take forever. And as a side-benefit, you now have a use for those old, broken ear buds in the back of your junk drawer.

Photo Trap
A tangled pair of ear buds that have been carefully moved and replaced.

There are also a number of other ways the Photo Trap could be applied. It could be used to see if there are new footprints across your lawn or carpet, if screws on the back of your computer have been messed with, or combination wheels on your suitcase have been rotated. Unfortunately the Escape the Wolf Photo Trap is available only for iOS devices. It costs $1.99 and is available in the App Store.

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