Invisible tracking software helps to find out what happens to stolen phone

cell-phone-theft

Anthony van der Meer – the Netherland based film maker -, filmed the afterlife of his cell phone after it was stolen from him. He recorded footage using the device's own camera and microphone. If the purpose was to get the phone back, he could have achieved it easily. Instead Anthony tracked the activities of the thief for an extended time period to create a 22 min documentary available on his portfolio website.

Find my Phone - Nederlands from Anthony van der Meer on Vimeo.

 

How is it possible?

phone-partition-1The cell phone required a bit of a “hacking” to get started – explains Van Der Meer.
A software called Cerberus – similar to the solution we are using at OpalTec – had been installed on a separate partition of the phone' internal storage. To hide the otherwise obvious filenames Anthony contacted the developers.

Let's get the phone stolen...

After 4 days of unsuccessful trial in a shopping centre finally Anthony had luck and his phone changed hands on Amsterdam Subway.
Every time the phone is connected to the internet, Anthony could control its functions. It includes taking pictures, downloading and uploading files, recording audio, accessing contacts, messages and other saved data.

Gps tracking

locationsDuring the experiment Van Der Meer receives gps location data from his device, so he knew where the thief lives, where he goes what is he doing most of the time. As he explains towards the end of his movie, he starts to know this person.

Let's stop here for a moment

If you say: hey I need a software like this, you belong to the majority.
The phrases like data collection, privacy hacking and device security are closer to each other you might think at first.

Hacking or security the two edged sword

The recent chinese hacking scandal uses a similar preinstalled software. If your cell phone is produced by the famous budget phone manufacturer Blu, chances are it is affected. More info here: http://thehackernews.com/2016/11/hacking-android-smartphone.html. Technology is good but in bad hands it turns into a dangerous tool.

What we do at OpalTec is the good use

Our mobile device management solutions include many features used by Van Der Meer but this is just the top of the iceberg.

Phones used for work need to fulfill requirements higher and trickier than a “normal” smartphone.

  • Lockdowns
  • Application control
  • Speed control
  • Tracking
  • Remote control
  • Remote application deployment
  • Professional support

Our MDM solutions all meant to make sure your work devices are used the way they should be and with maximum efficiency.

In summary there is a checklist for you to eliminate the chance of theft and sensitive data misuse:

  • Keep your phone with you at all times in public spaces
  • Apply pin code and password protection whenever possible
  • Use unusual passwords that contain special characters, numbers, upper and lowercase characters
  • Use two factor authentication whenever you can
  • Use an app like Locker that automatically wipes the device when unsuccessful password attempts reach a limit.

Drones reduce stock-taking from 30 to 2 days

drone

CEO Woon Junyng the CEO of Singapore based startup Infinium Robotics sees the future of warehouse data collection in drones. He is ready to show the world what he believes to be the next step. Woon developed strong will and courage at the Armed Forces to overcome any obstacles he and his organisation might faces. His background and story is impressive enough to listen to him.

Infinium Robotics is still fairly new startup operating in an also new technology sector. The combination isn't unusual. We have seen similar situations with Apple and Microsoft.

“Back in 2013, the use of drones was still in the infancy (stage), but it was starting to grow. I thought, can drone technology be used in the civilian sector? And then I realized there are actually a lot of applications,” Woon said.

One of those possible applications is warehouse inventory management and rapid scanning. Infinium has its solution – called Infinium Scan – in its test phase where the company succeeded to develop a highly accurate positioning methodology. Woon knows that indoor drones face a different set of challenges, too, as GPS signals cannot be read accurately indoors and limited space presents risks of collision.
Its indoor positioning technology can measure accuracy to the centimetre, while its camera system can measure accuracy to the millimetre.

“If you are (flying drones) outdoors you can measure your errors in metres and it still works because there is so much space,” said Woon.  “When indoors, you might be able to get signals through opening of windows or doors but your position is not accurate.”

This way is expected to reduce the stock-taking processes at warehouses from 30 days to two days.

Woon and his team is clearly working on very different sorts of robots than the human-like walking talking ones we see appearing usually in Japanese trade shows. The main motivations are productivity and speed which is very agreeable in the today's economic climate.

“You see robotics coming in to replace very specific functions of human labour. Robots cannot replace humans entirely. That means you cannot create a robot to be like a human and do everything,” Woon said. “Robots have to be designed to do one task, and to do it well and do it better (than humans).”

 

 

Woon is optimistic about the future growth opportunities and thinks it is a good time to develop advanced drones.

“Actually (slow economic growth) would hasten the process of our technology being adopted by companies. Why? Because as logistics companies find that their profit margins are being squeezed, they will find ways to increase profit margins,” he said. “And that’s when (they) would be willing to adopt new technology to improve profit margins.”

Despite its small size, Singapore makes for an ideal testbed for Infinium Robotics’ new technology because it is a shipment hub, where many global logistics MNCs, such as Maersk, DHL and U-Freight, have set their bases.

drone

But Woon thinks even the largest organisations have plenty of room to improve when it comes to technology background.

“If you look at automation technologies that companies are using at the moment, it’s actually very primitive, like we’re still stuck (from) 20 years ago. But it’s no fault of the companies because they have to stick to something that works,” he said.

 


Despite such setbacks, Woon believes his military background has trained him well to help him realise his vision of taking his drone technology beyond Singapore.

“Enemies will try to counter your will, make sure that your forces are demoralized, so that they will win. For us, as commanders and officers, we have to make sure the morale is high, and we work towards one single goal. That’s what we do in the military that can be applied to (my business).”

Read the oroginal article on e27.co.

No checkout line!

amazongo

No checkout? The future is here!

Amazon .com Inc. brings exciting solution for shoppers in hurry. In Seattle, Washington the company introduces the world's first grocery store without checkout lines. At least how we know them today.

The new system allows users take whatever they want from the store without scanning or otherwise manually building up the list of purchase. It all happens behind the scene on-line.

According to Jing Geo, Bloomberg the company is testing the new system at what it’s calling an Amazon Go store in Seattle, which will open to the public early next year. Customers will be able to scan their phones at the entrance using a new Amazon Go mobile app. Then the technology will track what items they pick up or even return to the shelves and add them to a virtual shopping cart in real time, according a video Amazon posted on YouTube. Once the customers exit the store, they’ll be charged on their Amazon account automatically.

The concept store and automated checkout mark Amazon’s latest attempt to upend the grocery business. The company began experimenting with fresh food in 2007, when it started AmazonFresh, a delivery service now active in 16 U.S. markets. Amazon has since started opening pickup centers where shoppers can fetch their web purchases. Perhaps recognizing that many people remain reluctant to purchase fresh food online, sight unseen, the company is now testing what looks a lot like a convenience store.

“Most people still have two requirements,” said Forrester analyst Brendan Witcher. “One is, ‘I want something today, I don’t want to wait.’ Number two is ‘I want to touch and feel the product before I commit to it.”’

So if the Amazon Go concept works, will the company build small grocery stores in cities all over the country? Amazon isn’t saying. But some analysts envision a combination pickup center, fulfillment warehouse and small grocery store. After all, Amazon is already building urban warehouses, including a 50,000-square-foot facility in midtown Manhattan, that handle same-day deliveries to local customers.

some analysts envision a combination pickup center, fulfillment warehouse and small grocery store

Selling fresh food is a strategy long employed by retailers to boost foot traffic and get people to buy more stuff.

“I believe you’re going to see growing offline presence in high-turnover goods, which is mostly groceries and household items,” said James Cakmak, an analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co. 

da42jb6wr4gdhqfdjupbmh-320-80Amazon employees are testing out the 1,800-square-foot store on the company’s campus, where they can buy ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options as well as grocery essentials from bread and milk to artisanal cheeses and locally made chocolates. Also available: Amazon Meal Kits, containing all the ingredients needed to make a meal for two in 30 minutes.

The Amazon Go store is just part of Amazon’s broader retail strategy. Another format the company is considering is a larger shop that also has a curbside pick-up component, according to the Wall Street Journal. If this concept pans out, Amazon could potentially open 2,000 locations, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. That’s similar to an option being developed for customers to pick up items at Prime Now fulfillment centers.

Workers will still be needed

Grocers have been experimenting with automated checkout for years. The stores argue that the idea is not to get rid of workers, but to free them up to mount displays and help customers find what they need. In some Stop and Shop stores customers can use scanning guns to total up the bill as they troll the aisles. But shoppers still have to go to a checkout station at the end to upload their bill and pay, or hand the scanner over to a cashier, which sometimes still entails waiting in line. 

Amazon Go takes the concept to a new level -- much as One Click shopping did when the company introduced it online years ago.

“While it remains to be seen how well the technology works, the experience could be very compelling,” said Michael Chui, a partner at McKinsey Global Institute. “Completely removing the friction associated with checkout has the ability to be a competitive differentiator.”

Zebra ET50 – The Enterprise Tablet

et50-tablet

The standards Configuration includes Google Mobile Services (GMS) and Android for Work (AFW). GMS provides intergrated Google applications such as Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Play Store, while AFW offers enterprise features such as Mobile Application Management (MAM). The Professional Configuration ships without Google GMS and AFW, eliminating all service connexions, thereby maintaining system privacy while retaining Zebra value-adds.  Both configurations are built on Android Open Source (AOSP).

Zebra TC51 is here!

tc51

BEAUTY, BRAWN AND BRAINS — EVERYTHING YOUR WORKERS WANT, WITH EVERYTHING YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS


Today’s workers want a device that is every bit as contemporary and easy to use as the smartphone they use every day. You need a device that will last for years, built for all-day every day enterprise use, with all the features you need to enable your workers to achieve peak productivity and keep your data secure. Now you can have it all with the TC51 and TC56 Touch Computers from Zebra. No more compromising device design for enterprise functionality — or enterprise functionality for device design. Built for the new business world, you get an industrial design that looks and feels like the most popular pocketable consumer-style smartphones to meet worker expectations, along with the durability, enterprise-class features, power, security and manageability your business requires. And with many unique Zebra-only features, you get a touch computer that is truly in a class of its own. The TC51 and TC56 — the next evolution in enterprise touch computing.

tc51Active Edge™ Touch Zone for One-touch Access to the Features Your Workers Use the Most

Create unique dedicated keys on either side of the display for one-touch access to the most frequently used device features and applications, from the scanner, camera and line-of-business applications to telephony features such as push-to-talk and text messaging.

Maximum Display Size with Advanced Technology

The 5 in. display offers plenty of real estate for graphics-intensive intuitive applications. This capacitive touch panel gives your workers easy, familiar and flexible multitouch operation that works even when wet, with a gloved finger or a stylus. And with best-in-class outdoor readability, the screen is easy to read, even in bright sunlight.

The Ultimate Scanning Performance

With our advanced scanning technology and PRZM Intelligent Imaging, your workers get lightning fast capture of 1D and 2D barcodes, even if they are damaged, dirty and poorly printed — or displayed on a screen. An extraordinary working range plus a wide field of view increases application flexibility — workers can scan barcodes nearer and farther away. And omnidirectional scanning delivers true point and shoot — there is no need to ever align barcode and scanner.

Automatically Capture and Process Entire Documents

With SimulScan Document Capture, a Mobility DNA ingredient, your workers can simultaneously capture barcodes, text fields, phone numbers, images, signatures and even check boxes in the time it takes to press a button, improving invoicing and order speed and more.

Business Tough

Ultra-high Resolution Photos

The 13 MP camera allows workers to easily document proof-of-condition, proof-ofdelivery, proof-of-service and much more.

The Processing Power to Do It All

The blazing 1.8 GHz hexa-core 64-bit processor can run everything your workers need to take care of business, from multiple graphics-intensive lineof- business apps to PBX deskphone functionality. You get better performance and better power consumption — while the processor uses up to 15% less power, apps run up to 5 times faster. And with support for Marshmallow and the next two versions of Android (‘N’ and ‘O’), you get superior investment protection.

Rugged and Ready for Business

While the TC51 and TC56 look like a smartphone, your workers can drop it in water or onto concrete, use it in dusty areas and more — and still expect reliable operation. The unibody design provides extra impact protection for the sensitive electronics. And the Corning Gorilla Glass touch panel and imager window bring maximum scratch- and shatter-proofing to two of the most vulnerable device features.

PowerPrecision+ Battery for Bestin-class Power and Manageability

Your workers depend on their mobile devices nearly every minute of the workday. This user replaceable battery delivers up to an impressive 14 hours of power,2 ensuring that workers have plenty of power for the longest shift and devices are always available. A wealth of easily accessible battery metrics make it easier than ever to identify, remove and replace aging batteries. And with Warm Swap mode, users can change the battery without losing connectivity — no reboot is required.

Unsurpassed Security with Zebra’s Mobility Extensions (Mx)

Mx is a series of features that make Android a more robust enterprise class operating system. Another Mobility DNA ingredient, Mx is pre-installed on every TC51/TC56 device and is simple to deploy, allowing you to easily create the most secure, purpose-built, enterprise class Android device. With Android and Mx, you can prevent unauthorized users from accessing the device, as well as the installation and opening of unauthorized apps. Additional device controls prevent configuration errors that can take the device offline and erode worker productivity. The ability to actively detect vulnerabilities and automatically execute the right corrective action helps prevent data leaks and more.

Multiple Configurations to Meet Different Business Needs

Standard Configuration devices come with Google Mobile Services (GMS) and Android for Work (AFW). GMS provides integrated Google applications such as Gmail and Google Maps, and AFW adds more enterprise-class features. Professional Configuration devices ship without GMS and AFW, promoting greater privacy and security of personal information. Both configurations are based on Android Open Source (AOSP).

 

Get More Value out of your Devices with Mobility DNA

Every strand of your mobility platform is simpler with Zebra’s Mobility DNA. That’s because right from the start, you have the industry’s most comprehensive suite of mobility must-haves to accelerate your solution. More off-the shelf enduser apps, more robust administration utilities and easier app development. Purpose built for enterprise, Mobility DNA makes ease, confidence and value intrinsic to your investment and our full line of Android mobile computers.

The Highest Quality Voice in its Class for Crystal Clear Voice Calls

Speakers that deliver four times the loudness of popular smartphones and noise-cancellation technology ensure that callers on both ends of every call can hear every word — regardless of the volume of background noise.

The Fastest, Most Dependable Wireless Connections Inside and Outside the Four Walls

The Wi-Fi enabled TC51 supports the fastest Wi-Fi connections with the most robust roaming support. The Wi-Fi and 4G LTE cellular-enabled TC56 keeps workers connected no matter where they are — in your facility or out in the field.

A Complete Suite of Enterprise Accessories

A trigger handle and a variety of holsters make it easy to use the TC51 and TC56 in just about any workflow. Backroom management is easier with the ShareCradle that can charge it all — device and batteries, plus convenient multi-slot chargers. With an Ethernet connection option available for hare Cradles, syncing data with backend applications is easy. And vehicle cradles are ideal for delivery drivers and technicians out in the field.