The Clapper: "Does It Work?"

Published: Dec. 21, 2011 at 2:33 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2011 at 3:59 AM CST
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It's one of the grandaddys of "As Seen On TV" products.  Ironically, its commercials featured a grandmother. Everyone's heard of the Clapper. But have you ever known anyone who's owned one? Seems to us, someone needs to put this thing to the "Does It Work?" test.

The new and improved Clapper comes with two outlets. But notice, there's no room for a 3-pronged plug. There are settings for home and away. When set to "away" the clapper reacts to any sound at all. It's the most sensitive setting. "Home" means you're home and the clapper will be listening for distinct clapping type sounds in a certain rhythm.

"Clap , pause, clap, pause pause pause," it says in the directions.  That clap rhythm turns on the 2-clap outlet, the one on the left. "Clap, pause, clap, pause, clap" turns on the outlet on the right, the 3 clap outlet.

We plug a lamp into the 2-clap outlet. A fan goes in the 3-clap outlet.

As soon as we started talking about what we were going to do.  The lamp started turning on...then off again.  We made sure we had the sensitivity set to "home".  But the least sensitive setting was just that sensitive.

When we clapped twice, the light would go on an off.  Unfortunately, any two sounds in a row, talking, opening a cabinet, walking...would set it off.

The 3-clap outlet never really worked well.

"Does It Work?"  This thing will drive you crazy.  We give the Clapper a no.

And the Clapper's not cheap either. These days they're mostly available online and run between 18 and 30 dollars.