Feeds

GPS alarm seems alarmingly useless

You're safe with me. Unless stuff crashes

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The Freedom Personal Safety is a GPS device that's supposed to alert loved ones that you're in trouble, but actually seems about as trustworthy as the only other man in the train carriage who appears to have moved a seat closer to you every time you look.

The product will set you back £79.95, but comes in a nice yellow box which promises "Peace of mind in your pocket".

The idea is that just sliding the switch on the side of the key-fob-sized device immediately alerts your chosen contact. But it can only do that if you're running the appropriate application on your smartphone, which needs to be within ten meters, and not have been crashed by the application itself.

Key-Fob GPS

To be fair we only had a couple of crashes, though even one would be too many on an application that promises to improve safety. Even more worryingly we didn't manage to get a successful alert sent out even when the application was running fine, which makes us glad it wasn't a real emergency.

If it had been a real emergency we'd probably have phoned someone, on our smartphone. That might take too long, though, so perhaps we'd have installed GPS.SOS, a $20 application for Windows Phones that not only sends out GPS details but also switches our handset to auto-answer in case we're too busy fighting off attackers to respond to a call.

Freedom argues that its device can be operated without looking and from within a pocket, and is hard to set off accidentally. All of this is true, but seems a minor point when set against the need to keep the thing charged as well as ensuring the host application is running on a Windows Phone, BlackBerry or Symbian handset, all the time. The company also tells us their GPS is much more sensitive, which is also probably true given the cheap GPS components thrown into most smartphones.

Freedom Personal Safety also provides a polling function; if the application is running then a suitably-formatted SMS message from the right contact will elicit a location-based response. It's possible one might be able to convince one's significant other or children to install the software, though again it's hard to imagine that an on-device application wouldn't do the same thing for less money.

But perhaps we're being too closed-minded about the possible applications for the Freedom Personal Safety. If you can think of a better use for it then do let us know. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.