Over 3.1 million smartphones were stolen in the US in 2013, and according to the statistics the problem is growing. As our phones become more sophisticated and more expensive, it’s logical to expect them to become more desirable targets for street villains and others. Despite all the talk of kill-switches and suchlike, there appears to be no way to avoid the increasing crime wave at the moment. Or is there?
Wemp Locator is a new phone app which aims to help people take better care of their precious smartphones by tapping into the power of the crowd. The app, only available on Android at the moment, uses anonymous victim reports to map out risky areas where you’re more likely to suffer a street theft of your handset.
The app logs the victim reports onto a handy map, so you can see if there’s been a series of thefts in that area, and take steps to avoid pulling your phone out in public so as to avoid becoming a target. The app, which has been created by a Brazilian team, will also let you remotely wipe your phone if it does get stolen, and there’s also a tracking feature built in which can find a lost or stolen phone via GPS or phone signals.
It’s a sad sign of the times that an app like this exists, but there you are. Welcome to the 21st century.