A device that has already been tried in Europe and Asia, MySpot200, is helping keep interlopers out of other people's parking places and deterring car thieves from stealing protected vehicles. The device, from Designated Parking Corp., West Orange, N.J. (designatedparking.com), raises and lowers a barrier at the touch of a remote transmitter.

Keying in a personal code lowers the barrier using gravity. Driving a car over it cocks a hydraulic spring mechanism, storing enough energy (140 lb-in. of torque) to raise the barrier after the driver hits the right button on the fob. The process is repeated when the driver leaves his space. The device comes ready to assemble and can be attached to the ground using bolts or epoxy adhesive. It has been tested to 20,000 up/down cycles, representing over 10 years of use. Each spot can be controlled from 15 transmitting fobs, and each fob can control three spots. The unit is priced at about $600.