This Security Camera Shoots Paintballs at Intruders. It’s Pure Chaos and Probably Illegal     – CNET

This Security Camera Shoots Paintballs at Intruders. It’s Pure Chaos and Probably Illegal – CNET

What happens when you combine a paintball gun with a home security cam and smart tracking? All the potential chaos of the Eve PaintCam, an ambitious crowdsourced security camera equipped with smart detection — and a paintball firing system to mark and scare away intruders.

From creator OZ-IT on Kickstarter and elsewhere, the Eve PaintCam wants people to live out their fantasies of total property control. It even promises face detection to avoid hitting friends (or specifically to hit friends, depending on your mood). 

An illustration of the Eve PaintCam facing forward against a white background.

The Eve PaintCam offers a new ability to fire paintballs or other rounds from the camera. But is this viable for home security?


That’s a lot to unpack, but we sure are interested. Considering that the Kickstarter began with a 12,000 euro goal (around $13,000) and received more than 6x that amount, a lot of other people are interested, too. The Eve PaintCam promises to be pricey, starting at around $1,400, and like many Kickstarter projects this particular Pinocchio may never become a real boy, but I can’t stop talking about it.

As always, please note that CNET’s reporting on crowdfunding campaigns is not an endorsement of the project or its creators. Before contributing to any campaign, read the crowdfunding site’s policies — in this case, Kickstarter and Indiegogo — to find out your rights (and refund policies, or the lack thereof) before and after a campaign ends.

Are we finally entering a world of AI turrets and autonomous security drones dispassionately protecting our property? Is a paintball cam worth it just to prank our friends or chase away crows? Are there safety concerns? And most importantly, when can you try one? Let’s lay out the details of this “active deterrence” security system.

Captivating point and shoot security

The Eve PaintCam concept will sound familiar if you’ve looked at smart home security cams before. It promises to use HD video with night vision, human and pet recognition and automatic tracking. But this one comes with a built-in gun. That mini turret intends to offer owners two choices: Paintballs with a UV paint add-on or, for those who really want to drive people away, tear gas rounds.

The company says the Eve will come in three flavors. According to current plans, the starter model won’t include any AI detection, the midtier version will offer animal detection  and the top-tier model will have face detection. The app controls will include options to keep defenses automatic, add faces, or switch between different modes. 

These plans are still evolving, but the creators say they hope to provide CNET with more information on a release date and maybe even testing samples by October to November 2024. Currently, the release date is planned for sometime in early 2025. While the Kickstarter has ended, the company has begun a new Indiegogo campaign and it expects to have a prototype ready to show at the Security Essen exhibition in September.

Pairing a semi-harmless gun like this with a tracking security camera sounds so neat, you may be wondering why it hasn’t happened already. The answer will make Ron Swanson and your prepper uncle very unhappy: Home security on the offense runs into serious hurdles.

The not-so-small problem of legality

An illustration of the planned features for the Eve PaintCam.

The Eve line promises lots of features available on high-end home security cameras, plus multiple firing round options. 


A paintball cam sounds like a ton of fun! If I was a teenager again (also still now), I could think of a hundred ways to set one up. And paintballs are mostly harmless, right? Unfortunately, the truth is a little more complicated, because shoot-happy security devices like these run hard into the wall of the law.

First, automatic paintball and tear gas pellet guns appear to fall under the category of home traps. And setting traps on your property made to hurt people is specifically illegal, even in states with “stand your ground” laws. A few minutes of thought makes it clear why booby traps like these are against the law — despite what Home Alone taught so many kids.

United States law (along with other countries) has built-in protections for people, even trespassers. That’s why you can call the cops on trespassers or use home security cam footage to get them in trouble, but you can’t try to hurt them just for being on your property. And yes, a paintball to the eye certainly counts, not to mention the tear gas.

Laws like these also protect invaluable public service members, like firefighters, as well as first responders like EMTs or people doing wellness checks. Additionally, the rules protect public easements for utility companies that can access your property to do things like cut down trees that grow too close to power lines.

Illustrations on three phones of how the Eve PaintCam controls could work.

Depending on the modes and operation, the PaintCam idea could cause headaches for local law enforcement and insurance companies alike.


Then there’s your homeowners insurance. This insurance, which guards against disasters and burglary, is often necessary to take out a mortgage or build a house, but it can be sensitive to preventable threats. A number of homeowners insurance companies ban certain dog breeds such as pit bulls or Rottweilers. If policyholders own these dogs, insurers may refuse to pay claims or cancel the policy entirely.

Likewise, insurance agents and inspectors won’t be pleased to see traps or deterrents like a paintball cam, which could lead to unexpected lawsuits. Remember, people can sue over nearly anything, including minor injuries from paintballs and emotional distress from getting shot by a robot cam that looks a little like those sentry turrets in Portal. Insurance companies want to stay far away from that mess.

There may be some leeway if you turn off the automatic functions and only use manual firing with paintballs, but every time we tried to ask a lawyer about it they wandered off crying in the opposite direction, so take that option with a grain of salt.

Paintball dreams for homeowner memes

Eve Paintcam movement and side view against a white background.

The dream of active deterrence remains a popular home concept, no matter what happens to the Even PaintCam.


To summarize: It’s not clear if or when the Eve PaintCam may be available, and I don’t know if it’s legal to use one, but it’s caught my eye. The idea of “reactive safety” sounds attractive to those struggling with trespassers or planning their The Last of Us apocalypse fortress. In practice — and depending on the recognition features — I suspect you’re more likely to get a visit from an angry neighbor about their newly polka-dotted pet.

But the PaintCam dream says something deeper about the desire to protect our homes. Many of us want a way to ward away the bad stuff — preferably without getting our hands dirty. From software like face recognition to two-way audio right from our phones, being able to tell friend from foe is appealing. In practice that can get complicated, even if a security system is literally painting targets red. The future of the Eve may depend on just how far everyone can agree that people should take home defense measures.

We’ll keep you updated on the progress of the Eve PaintCam, and I’ll absolutely show you how it works if I can get my hands on a prototype. In the meantime, feast your eyes on the Nerf Gelfire Blaster with “hydro rounds” as a safe paintball alternative, take a look at the laws on recording video inside your home and check how police can seize home security videos.

Tyler Lacoma

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