Connected Devices Phone Home

In the past few months I have heard several news stories about stolen connected devices helping to locate their captors. Very cool. The latest story was of a woman who had her camera stolen. Evidently, the woman had activated a service on the camera that would automatically upload the pictures to a personal site for the owner whenever the camera detected a wireless connection. Sure enough, a few days after the theft the victim noticed her pictures on her website – with a few additions. There were pictures of some men she didn’t recognize. She took the pictures to the last place she remembered having the camera, which was a restaurant of some sort, and showed them to the manager there. As it turns out, the pictures were of the head cook. She got her camera back, and the cook no longer works there.

I also recall a story of a woman who had her Mac laptop stolen. A few days later a friend called her and asked if she got the laptop back. When she answered that she didn’t get it back, the friend told her that it must be connected because she had just been logged into her IM client. With this knowledge, the woman got on the Internet, located her computer, activated the camera and took a picture of the person using it. She took the picture to the police, who knew the individual from prior illegal activities. They tracked him down, and the woman got her laptop back.

How cool is it that devices can “phone home”, and can actually call for help? Who knew…

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