This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

When they aren't engaged in pioneering research with two-player ping-pong via cellphones (as shown left), the scientists from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland toy around with biometric anti-theft devices. They have created a sensor that can be equipped into mobile electronics, such as phones and laptops, and it analyzes the walking patterns of the owner. If there is ever an incident where the walking style of the owner isn t recognized—if, for example, a drunken man wearing high heels were to steal your phone it would instantly lock-up and be useless.

"Compared with passwords and traditional bio-identification, the new method is simple: confirmation of identity takes place as a background process without any need for user's intervention," the researchers said.

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A nice idea, but it sounds like there might be a lot of room for errors. On top of which, this wouldn t directly prevent theft of gadgets; it would only piss off the thief when their bum leg makes this device useless. This thing doesn't even have a patent yet, so for now it's still the stuff of sci-fi.

New gadget to make theft of mobile phones harder [Yahoo! News UK]

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