There are two kinds of Pakistanis (especially Karachiites); the ones who have had their phones stolen and the ones who don’t carry a phone worth stealing in public.
Phone-snatching has become an even bigger problem due to the influx of expensive smartphones, especially in highly populated cities like Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Peshawar. However, unless there is some improvisation on the snatchers’ end, we could soon be free from this conundrum, thanks to “Self-destructing phones”.
A group of researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia has developed a new self-destruct mechanism. It works almost instantly and comes into effect when a phone is stolen, protecting device’s sensitive data as well as spoiling any reselling plans on the thieves’ end.
Who is it for?
The technology is aimed atcustomers who specifically require data protection; intelligence communities, corporations, banks, hedge funds, social security administrations, collectors who handle massive data. However, since it is easily installable on most modern devices, it could work for almost anyone who wants an extra layer of security.
How does it work?
It consists of an expandable polymer that can be remotely triggered using GPS or a password-enabled app to crumple the device’s chips. It is capable of destroying a silicon chip up to 90 micrometers thick, or less than 0.1mm.
The mechanism uses heater electrodes that draw power from the device’s battery and activate the polymer, rapidly expanding it to seven times its original size when heated to 80°C. Since most modern devices come equipped with a non-removable battery, there is almost no way to obstruct the power supply between the electrodes and the battery.
How much does it cost?
Each self-destruct mechanism could cost as little as $15 and can also be retrofitted to existing laptops and desktops.