Lookout, a mobile security start-up, is turning smartphones and tablets against gadget thieves with its new feature referred to by Lookout as taking a “theftie” will take a picture of the culprit.
The new alert was added on Wednesday to the premium service for Apple and Android mobile devices and sets out to pinpoint where a gadget might be and, if possible, take the thief’s picture!
Greg Lou, Lookout product Manager, said: “We are not providing this information for you to go out and find the device yourself. It is so you can give it to the police so they can find it for you."
The premium version currently costs AUS$3 a month or AUS$30 annually and provides features such as backing up data and finding lost phones.
The new function lets users tell smartphones to fire off theft alerts if anyone botches a lock-screen code, turns the gadget off, pulls a SIM card, or puts the device in ‘airplane’ mode to block network connections.
Android devices theft alerts also signal front-facing cameras to take photos in the hope of capturing images of culprits. However this feature is not available on Apple devices because the operating system won’t allow it.
Lookout launched in 2007 and reports that 55 million people worldwide use its mobile security software, a version of which is free.