Written on 2/11/2010 11:36:00 AM by poison_ivy
Have you been a victim of mobile phone theft or know someone who have had their mobile phone stolen? Well three mobile phone anti-theft technology had won government backing and hopes to minimize further mobile phone theft.
Here are the winners and I've also put in some thoughts regarding the technologies:
The Tie (developers: Peter Phillips from Lyndhurst, Hampshire and Dr Anthony Rix from Royston, Cambridgeshire) - an anti-theft system which matches a mobile phone with a SIM card as well as protects any data stored on the mobile phone such as passwords, browsed websites, contacts, photos, etc. The system works so that when stolen, a mobile phone cannot be used with another SIM card and data on the mobile phone cannot be accessed. It's all good except that 1) It might pose a problem to person who has two or more SIM Cards unless the system allows registration of two or more SIMs. 2) While data protection is nice added touch, it wouldn't hinder mobile phone thieves who don't care about any data and just wants the phone. They could easily wipe off the data as well as the system by just restoring the phone to factory default or "hard resetting" the phone as we like to call it. I think that the system would only work if it's hardwired to the mobile phone handset so that when the handset is flashed or restored to factory default, the SIM card tied to the handset would still be recognized.
Touch Safe (developers: Neil Garner from Norwich, Norfolk and Nick Field from Framlingham, Suffolk) - a system which makes mobile transactions more secure by using a small card carried by the owner. The owner can touch the card to the phone to enable the transaction. Good, but happens if the phone and the card both get stolen which is not improbable if both the handset and the card are on someone's purse.
I-Migo (developers: Saban Demirbasa, from West Norwood and Graham Lacy, from Hammersmith) - a system that sounds an alarm and locks the handset if it is taken out of a set of range. Effective for preventing both theft and lost of the mobile phone. It also does an automated backup of data using Bluetooth technology. I love this idea but again, this technology should be hardwired to the handset as simply taking out the battery would disengage the alarm sounds. Also, it would be nice if data can be backed up over the air either through 3G/EDGE connection or WiFi.
These three prototypes will be on display at the Mobile World Congress next week.