Mousetrap that deters thieves

In retrospect, Qualcomm CEO Irwin Jacobs might be kicking himself for not having handcuffed himself to his laptop computer. But he could also have conveniently linked himself with his machine via invisible radio waves.

In retrospect, Qualcomm CEO Irwin Jacobs might be kicking himself for not having handcuffed himself to his laptop computer. But he could also have conveniently linked himself with his machine via invisible radio waves.

Lexent Technologies is the USA-based creation of Michael D'Angelo, who used to work in advanced satellite defence systems and now concocts advanced anti-theft defence devices.

Mr D'Angelo came up with the idea for a two-way radio device after researching laptop theft deterrents and finding little more than easily-defeated cable locks. He dreamed of a better mousetrap, of a cable lock boosted with an alarm.

Lexent's wireless I-spy alarm is a cigarette pack-sized unit that attaches to the computer lid and a radio receiver clipped to your keychain. The laptop alarm and the keychain receiver communicate silently with each other. But the communication can be ear-splittingly loud when required.

The alarm is disabled when you are using or are near your laptop, and when you walk away the alarm senses your movement and automatically activates itself. If someone moves your computer, your keychain sounds a discreet chirping sound. Alerted to a possible theft in progress, you then have the option to trigger the loud alarm on the computer.

The alarm has a range of 100ft (and costs about £100), and if Mr Jacobs had been using this kind of device, he probably would have caught his malefactor in the act. But in falling victim to a thief at a conference, Mr Jacobs has plenty of company. Thieves are especially active in these venues, especially during lunch and coffee breaks.

Realise your vulnerability. Take appropriate action at the outset. The two concepts in tandem are a powerful force. And yes, always keep back-ups.

For more information click on www.lexent.com

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