Now you can find your cell phone...when it screams, 'I'm lost!'
The next time you lose your cell phone, you might hear it scream something like "I'm stolen!" or "I'm lost - take me home," through new location-based technology now under development by a company called Yougetitback.com.
NEW YORK CITY (BetaNews) - From its Web site, the start-up already offers software dubbed Cellphone Superhero, aimed at letting users lock misplaced cell phones remotely, in addition to storing photos, e-mails, and contact information of friends and co-workers securely in a private online vault.
Industry statistics show that, even without technology like Superhero, lost cell phones eventually find their way back to their owners about 80 percent of the time, contended Ciaran O'Sullivan, VP of sales. "Most people are honest," he told BetaNews, during a Digital Life press preview last night in New York City.
On the other hand, if you don't get your cell phone back after you've left it in a restaurant or the back seat of a taxi, reassembling your contact info can be a nightmare, Sullivan noted.
Meanwhile, while you're waiting to find out where your phone might be hiding, using Superhero to lock it down will make the phone just about useless to potential thieves, since outgoing calls will only be allowed to Yougetitback.com.
If the sim is removed, the phone will still be locked down, anyway, and the Yougetitback.com Web site can track the new sim. To track the phone, the company uses GPS with carriers that support this feature. Otherwise, the Web site employs a technology known as cell tower triangulation.
Sullivan also told BetaNews that through an upcoming feature called "Client Screaming," users will be able to configure their phones with special custom ringtones, with vibration as another option. "So if you think your phone's been stolen," he said, "you can call it, and it will scream, 'I'm stolen!' -- or anything else you want it to say."
A free three-month trial copy of Cellphone Superhero is now available from the company's Web site. Right now, the software is designed to work with about 60 different cell phone models, including BlackBerry Pearl, Curve, and 8800 models from Research in Motion (RIM), dozens of Nokia phones, and some Samsung and Panasonic models.
Yougetitback.com -- a company that began life as a provider of hard copy security tags -- is also now beta testing a new edition of its Superhero software, tailored to PC laptops, Sullivan said. Laptop Superhero -- a product with capabilities that will include PC hard drive encryption -- is expected to be ready for release by the end of this year.