Ericsson's High Tech Solution To Smartphone Theft Should Scare Prospective Thieves - TECH FOE

Ericsson's High Tech Solution To Smartphone Theft Should Scare Prospective Thieves



Phone theft is a problem that haven't had a permanent solution yet. Over the years, phone manufacturers have come up with different security and lock mechanism to block stolen devices from being used by the thieves.

Different lock mechanisms put in by phone makers includes; fingerprint scanner, passcode, pattern lock, facial recognition, etc. If the thief makes several wrong attempts to unlock the device, the gadget will brick and until the user identifies him or herself with whatever method that they used in setting up the device.

Uh, i forgot to mention, some phone users who setup remote tracking on the device might be able to track it down. However, all these security lock mechanisms and remote tracking of a thing are usually bypassed.


There are several different hacking techniques that will easily break into your lost phone and reset it into factory mode. The chances of an owner recovering a lost device are very slim, but all hopes might not lost because Ericsson is cooking up a remedy to the problem.

Swedish company Ericsson has patented a very high anti-theft tech called "Adaptive Friction" to tackle the menace of phone theft.

According to the patent (via PhoneArena), the phone will make use of its light sensor(s), gyroscope(s), camera(s) and will analyze data from its microphone(s) to maintain constant awareness of its contextual environment to know if its in a purse, pocket, table, etc.

Now, when a hand touches the device, it will try to determine whether or not it's the owner or another person. This will be done by analyzing the grip to know if it was done confidently or or a cheeky corner pinch, and will also analyze the person's heartbeat by utilizing the biometric sensors when the device is grabbed and will then be compared with the  heartbeat of the owners.

The Adaptive Friction will come into play when the phone detects that its in the hands of an unknown person. The device will begin to vibrate at ultrasonic frequencies which will make it slippery and hard to pinch out of the owners pocket.

Another thing here is that the patent states that the technology will be able to make the phone extra grippy and stick to the user's hand when used, thereby making it harder for it drop. Though we don't know the kind of technology that will be used here, what we do know is that if such technology by chances comes into existence, phone pickpockets will be reduced.


This is just a patent anyway which only exist on paper, just like the millions of patents out there that haven't seen daylight. There's not fixed date or time when this tech will land on any device.

Here's an abstract from the patent:

"A mobile communication device adjusts a level of friction between a surface of the device and one or more other objects that may be in contact with the device, such as receipts, credit cards, keys, money, the user's hand or finger, and the like.

"To adjust the friction, the device first determines its current environmental context, such as whether it is inside the user's pocket or lying on a table surface, for example. Then, based on that context, the device varies a coefficient of friction to increase or decrease the friction between the surface of the device and the surfaces of the other objects.

"Varying the friction allows a user to grip the device easier and/or reduce the chance that the other objects in contacts with the device are also inadvertently removed from the storage location with the device."

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