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08. 04. 2006

Electronic modulation will protect your TV

thomsom_bulldog.jpg

Thomson SA, the French parent company of RCA, is proposing a new method for locking our expensive gadgets to a single domicile, and it's a pretty neat idea. The plan is to have a watchdog transmitter modulate the home's electricity supply along a specific pattern, and configure appliances to recognize that pattern as an approved signal.

Electronics check in for the proper pulse pattern when they are plugged in, and refuse to operate without the authorization. A thief that steals a computer would be unable to power it without having possession of the in line watchdog device. This could be a great idea for high security military installations where machines are never meant to be used outside of approved areas.

The system is sufficiently sneaky since the authorization device could be hidden anywhere in the house, or even secreted inside of a ubiquitous gadget like a clock radio. The only way to defeat the system would be to steal everything plugged into the electrical system, or to hack the hardware, providing the thief was aware of the limitation.

From New Scientist's Barry Fox, and SAWF.

Posted by Johnny    Category: devices
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Comments (3)

jablan:

One thing is for sure: Nothing easier than to make the girl from the ad happy. ;)

nothalo:

Baring a massive PR campaign, thefts of electronics won't decrease, yet some thieves will be less satisfied as their stolen good won't work.

This strikes me as an electronics company trying to put up barriers for a legit owner to use their electronics in more than one home and/or reselling their property. These barriers would only benefit corporations not the consumer.

g:

I do agree with the last comment.
It will prevent the theif for re-using the device, thus preventing reselling, but anyway, your cool devices will be gone... Too bad

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