Brits show off handset protection

MI5’s habit of losing laptops chock full of Top Secrets appears to have spawned a mini industry in loss prevention. Two out of the 20 companies picked by the UK’s Trade&Industry department to represent Britain @ the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona offer protection against phone/laptop loss.

Techeye’s favourite out of the two TenBu and I-migo was definitely I-migo.

Saban Demirbasa, md with I-migo, seems to have thought through the whole experience of handset (and laptop) loss. He’s hoping to have the I-migo Bluetooth device in retail stores around June-July 2010. Expect to pay around £19.99 for it.

Basically you ‘pair’ this device with your mobile phone or laptop via Bluetooth and when your prized possession gets out of range, then an alarm goes off. Nothing very new about that.

But the i-migo is actually a memory stick as well as an alarm. It has about 8Mb of memory and automatically stores all of your telephone numbers and text messages.

So if you actually use the handset, you can get yourself up and running again P.D.Q. The best bit is that it requires absolutely no software on the handset itself.

Basically, it uses the standard Phone Address Book Profile (PABP) to query the handset and download all the data. Most modern handsets support that profile.

Better still, the dongle can be charged through its microUSB port. If you use a PC to recharge the device, then, at the same time you have the option of downloading all the saved data to your computer. So you can lose both your handset and your dongle and still be safe.   

Demirbasa reckons he’ll also have a full multimedia version of the device available for Xmas 2010, offering 16 GB for around £39. Then you can store all your photos on it, too.

The I-migo supports the SyncML protocol so it will be able to store your emails, too – especially if you’re running SyncML compatible email software like Synchronica‘s.

In contrast with the I-migo, TenBu’s Nio protection device is actually shipping for £39.95. Again it uses Bluetooth to pair with a handset but this time a (Java) software client is required for the handset.

The advantage here is that if Nio and handset are parted, both the Nio and the handset trigger alarms. If you mislay the handset, you can trigger it to go off in order to locate it.

The advantage to the Nio is that it also contains a motion sensor. So if you attach the Nio to a laptop carrying case, if somebody picks it up to steal it, then the alarm goes off.

The Nio has even been used as a man-overboard device attached to a jacket. When the sailor moves out of range, the captain’s handset sounds an alarm.

So, if you can’t wait for an I-migo, the Nio is for you.