12 September 2003 Concern over the unauthorised use of picture phones at UK companies could soon be allayed with the release of a new technology platform called Safe Haven.
The patent-pending platform works by transmitting a signal in a localised environment, which disables the camera capability of nearby devices. It works across multiple devices, including camera phones, camera PDA’s, digital cameras and multi-purpose MP3 players.
Developed by two UK-based companies, audio intellectual property licensing firm Sensaura and Iceberg Systems, a developer of Internet and mobile technology, the system disables camera capabilities without affecting any other usage of the device, claims the companies.
However, the product will only work for future generations of phones that can read the signal. This means that there has to be some inducement for manufacturers to incorporate the capability into their products and for users to buy the hardware.
One possible scenario for early adoption is in security-conscious businesses, which could make its presence a requirement for company phones, and ban non-compliant phones from the premises.
This provides an incentive for manufacturers in two ways: first, if they’re not capable of supplying the handset, they lose the customer; and second, they have the opportunity to sell higher-specification picture phones to businesses, which might previously have refused to buy them for security reasons.
Sensaura and Iceberg Systems are currently in negotiation with mobile handset manufacturers along with blue chip companies, organisations and governments worldwide.