Today, I had coffee with the Ken Westin, the founder of a company that makes a product called "GadgetTrak." As the name implies, they have solutions that help you track your gadgets. Their approach goes far beyond simple barcodes and involves some pretty impressive software that not only lets you tell exactly where your device is (using WiFi or cell tower triangulation). If the device has a camera it can send you a picture of what the thief is looking at (perhaps even a photo of the bad guy's face).
GadgetTrak can help you find lots of devices, including
- stolen mobile devices (Windows Mobile or Blackberry using advanced features);
- stolen iPhones and iPod Touch devices (free in the App Store -- with basic support now, and the intent to add more functionality when / if Apple improves its SDK);
- stolen Windows PC's and laptops;
- stolen Mac desktops and Macbooks; and
- stolen USB media.
One of the things that impressed me most was the growing list of recovery stories on the GadgetTrak blog, which show real-world examples of how GadgetTrak has helped find stolen devices and even bust open some crime rings. Check them out - you can even see pictures of some of the bad guys they've snagged.
Also on the blog, take a look at an interesting post about GadgetTrak believes Apple and AT&T actually benefit from stolen iPhones - thought-provoking, for sure.