Mobile phone theft is the latest crime to be targeted by the Design Against Crime Research Centre at Central St Martins College of Art and Design.
Speaking this morning on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Design Against Crime director Lorraine Gamman called on phone manufacturers to start using anti-theft technologies in their designs.
‘Phone companies have great engineers and technicians on board, and are ideally placed to start applying existing technology to handsets to help cut theft,’ says Gamman. ‘But we have to convince manufacturers that there is a market for such products.’
There is growing industry concern that manufacturers will not adopt available technology to prevent crime, without being incentivised.
Technologies suggested by the centre include text ‘bombing’ – sending a destructive virus to a stolen phone via text. Alternatively, touchscreen phones could incorporate a fingerprint recognition system.
Design Against Crime senior designer Adam Thorpe says, ‘We want to convince the industry to embrace anti-theft technology, not with the stick of being outed as corporately irresponsible, but with the carrot of providing great customer care. In a saturated market, this is a great opportunity to provide product differentiation.’