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A Blackberry Pickpocket Notification System 83

Posted by samzenpus
from the hands-off dept.
Crackberry Guy writes "Research In Motion, the maker of the Blackberry, is looking into offering a wireless device that aims to thwart thieves and ease the minds of those who are prone to misplacing their handheld units. According to the recent patent application, the new device would be carried in a holster armed with a wireless transceiver. The handheld unit could be switched to a pickpocket mode so that once it's removed from the holster, a wireless alert message would be sent to the user. Unless a user authentication code is input in a predetermined length of time, the device's data would be rendered unusable."
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A Blackberry Pickpocket Notification System

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  • Re:I Don't Get It (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jasin Natael (14968) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @08:03AM (#16152541)

    It sounds like the Blackberry's holster, which is typically worn on a belt and would be very difficult to remove (especially with the paunch present on so many of the executives that carry them), would be equipped with a proximity sensor, or at least would receive a message from the Blackberry, which is measuring its own proximity to the holster. The holster could then vibrate / play a sound / flash to indicate that the Blackberry is missing and, if the user doesn't find the device within a few minutes and type in a cancellation code, poof!!

    This is quite a good idea. An "Active Case" for your cellphone. Especially for Blackberries, which can be totally DESTROYED remotely. Not only can you wipe out all your sensitive data, but you can corrupt the firmware so there's a good chance the device becomes a brick. I wouldn't be surprised if, given gov't and corporate culture these days, a Blackberry appeared that could be remotely "detonated" to release an etching compound and eat through some of the circuit boards.

  • by xixax (44677) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @08:08AM (#16152556)
    For at least a couple of years now, I have wanted my PDA, heandfree headset and laptop to be Bluetooth paired so that the other devices make noise if one of them is left behind or stolen. It's probably already been done, but at least putting it here may stop Lawsuits In Motion from patenting the idea.

    Actually, it'd sort of be like Rogue Tropper [wikipedia.org]'s helmet, gun and back-pack.

    Xix.

  • Re:I Don't Get It (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 21, 2006 @08:15AM (#16152570)
    You raise some good points and I think the "detonating" idea with the circuit etching compound is a great idea. However, I know many people that regularly flash the firmware on their BlackBerrys [unlv.edu] (videos only work in IE) with little or no trouble. In fact, I've seen some great ideas done with them. Now, of course, there could be restricted firmware that's never upgraded that they corrupt with this but I somehow think that would be difficult to do, especially with all the BlackBerrys already out there.

    It sounds like the Blackberry's holster, which is typically worn on a belt and would be very difficult to remove (especially with the paunch present on so many of the executives that carry them), would be equipped with a proximity sensor, or at least would receive a message from the Blackberry, which is measuring its own proximity to the holster. The holster could then vibrate / play a sound / flash to indicate that the Blackberry is missing and, if the user doesn't find the device within a few minutes and type in a cancellation code, poof!!
    I still don't ever see this behavior deterring thieves unless the device is destroyed physically somehow. The vibrate / play a sound / flash feature just sounds annoying, I doubt it would work in the real world.
  • Re:I Don't Get It (Score:3, Interesting)

    by joe 155 (937621) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @08:16AM (#16152576) Journal
    Thats how I thought this would work and does seem like quite a good idea, I worry though that if it was vibrate or a low sound (which would stop a theif from killing you trying to get you to switch it off as the GP mentions) then you might set it off by accident and not notice... therefore lose their data/phone. You also have to worry about what your kids might do if they are playing with your phone

    More over though I wonder why this is needed because mobile phones can be deactivated permanently by the police remotely (well, I think they'd get the phone company to do it). If more people used that option then no stolen phone would ever be worth anything and the theft would stop all together.
  • by maxrate (886773) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @08:23AM (#16152597)
    Neat idea - I wonder about battery consumption, always having to keep the Bluetooth radio chriping.....

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