Stolen Cameras “Phone Owners” to Catch Thieves

Eye Fi – LoJack for Your Camera

Alison DeLauzon thought the snapshots and home videos of her infant son were gone for good when she lost her digital camera while on vacation in Florida.

Then a funny thing happened: her camera “phoned home.”

Equipped with a special memory card with wireless Internet capability, DeLauzon’s camera had not only automatically sent her holiday pictures to her computer, but had even uploaded photos of the miscreants who swiped her equipment bag after she accidentally left it behind at a restaurant.

“I opened up the Eye-Fi manager on the computer and, lo and behold, there are the guys that stole our cameras,” said DeLauzon, a native of New York’s Long Island suburb. “Not only is it the guy who stole our camera … but the guy took a picture of (his accomplice) holding our other camera.”

DeLauzon received the Eye-Fi, a 2-gigabyte SD memory card that fits into millions of digital cameras, as a holiday gift to go with her Canon camera.

Priced at about $100, the card automatically uploads pictures to a home computer or online photosharing service as soon as the user is linked to a familiar wireless network.

Luckily, the culprits passed by an unsecured network, whose factory-installed setting matched that of DeLauzon’s home system, and the Eye-Fi automatically shipped the photos: first baby pictures, then the snap-happy scoundrels.

Her experience reflects the rise of technology that empowers everyday gadgets to protect themselves or the priceless personal data — from family phone numbers to business budgets — that consumers keep on portable electronics devices. 

Continue reading at Reuters