Stolen mobiles will scream

By Derek Sooman on October 3, 2006, 4:27 AM
Since mobile phones have become incredibly popular over the last 10 or so years, so has mobile phone crime soared. Theft of phones continues to rise - in the UK, it is estimated to exceed more than 10,000 devices each month according to Metropolitan Police statistics. What is needed is some kind of deterrent.

That deterrent has come, in the shape of Remote XT - a new technology that has been given approval by the Metropolitan Police Force and the Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum (MICAF). Remote XT is a security system for mobile phones which in the event of theft sets off a high pitch scream, permanently locking the handset and wiping all data.

"It makes a loud squealing noise which is enough to distract a restaurant if it went off and it completely locks the phone," Remote XT Managing Director, Mark Whiteman told Reuters.

"We also then set a small bomb off, if you like, that completely wipes the data...if it has genuinely been stolen then it renders the phone useless to the thief," he added.

The screaming noise can be stopped by removing the phone's battery but starts again as soon as it is put back in. Swapping the SIM out has no affect. Additionally, Remote XT backs up data held on a device once a day, meaning users can re-load their information onto a replacement handset.

Mark Whiteman claims that by making a mobile unusable by anyone accept its rightful owner, the phones become worthless and the market for stolen phones will diminish.

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