A new system learns your smartphone habits to thwart thieves

Scottish computer scientists have developed a new system that stops your phone from working if someone else steals it and tries to take it over. (So BACK OFF, thieves.)

As New Scientist reports, it was invented by a team from Glasgow Caledonian University, and works using software that tracks your smartphone habits, including which cell phone towers you’re usually bouncing a signal off, and which WiFi networks you connect to. It also measures typical light and sound levels during use thanks to a phone’s microphone and light sensor.

It takes up to a couple of weeks for the system to ‘learn’ an individual’s usage patterns, and then if it notices significantly different activity than usual, it shuts down within three minutes. The scientists say that the sensor won’t be alarmed by minor changes from the norm, but otherwise it will stop working and ask for a password.

Of course, the downside is that your phone is spying on you, and it doesn’t allow much room for spontaneity, possibly bringing you down when you realise just how predictable your habits actually are. The plus side is that even if someone steals your phone, they can’t look at your photos, laugh at your taste in music, or otherwise enjoy the experience in any way. HA.

Image via Pixabay.

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Diane Shipley