The Clapper - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

The Clapper

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The  Clapper
By: Amy Jacquin

You probably can't imagine turning your TV on or off without a remote anymore... But how about your lights?

The Clapper isn't a remote, exactly. But makers promise you can control anything plugged into it without having to up.

Carolyn Herring of Cape Girardeau happily helps us test the $20 Clapper. She hopes it works, saying it would come-in handy.

"Because I wouldn't have to get out of the chair," Carolyn elaborate. "It's very difficult for me, to get up and down. It's certainly a very simple-looking device."

Directions say to clap with a rhythm... Pausing longest AFTER you finish.

"You don't have to clap very hard," Carolyn reads directions. "The clapping SEQUENCE is more important than how loudly you clap."

It's the pause that cues the Clapper... Allowing it to differentiate between two and three claps. You can't plug anything into the Clapper that's over 250 watts, or 400 watts total if using both sides. And notice it's not set-up for three-pronged plugs.

"I'm plugging the lamp in to need two claps, and plugging Mrs. Clause in to need three claps," Amy Jacquin says as she sets-up the test.

The orange lights on the bottom corners show the appliances are plugging in and ready to be turned on. THEY turn OFF when the actual appliance is on.

Carolyn tests the Clapper, and it works... sometimes. But for every time it works, there's at least one time it doesn't. And we frequently have problems getting the third clap to register, as you can tell when only two of the three red indicator lights shine. Also, our VOICES sometimes cause the Clapper to turn off and on... meaning a T-V or radio could cause problems.

We watch as Carolyn tries three claps, to turn Mrs Clause on... But the lamp turns on instead, meaning the Clapper only heard two of her three claps. And then suddenly, the lamp just turns off... With no clapping to prompt it.

The next time Carolyn tries three claps, Mrs Clause DOES turn on... But she can't get her to stop!

The Clapper also has an "away" setting, which means ANY sound is supposed to turn on everything plugged into it... A bump of the table DOES turn the lights on... But sounds in another room do not. The microphone just isn't sensitive enough.

"If it worked consistently, I think it would be wonderful," summarizes Carolyn. "But it doesn't. I don't think it would fit my needs at all."

We don't either. It's not worth $20. We're pulling the cord on the Clapper, and giving it a D.

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