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Intel to take felon-foiling tech to phones, slates

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IDF 2012 Intel has confirmed that it will bring its Anti-theft Technology (AT), currently being pitched at Ultrabooks, to Atom-based smartphones and tablets.

The timeframe for bringing AT to such devices is unclear, but it is definitely on the company's roadmap, said Mojy Mirashrafi, Intel's Director of Engineering, Security and Content, during an IDF presentation on AT.

AT utilises pre-Bios hardware to contact Intel-trusted third-party servers and determine whether the Ultrabook it is fitted to has been lost or stolen. Periodic checks when the machine boots or when it comes out of deep sleep verify it is the hands of its owner. Failure to pass this test can result in the machine being disabled or rendered useless.

A thief may not check for the presence of AT when he lifts the laptop - Intel has a bright sticker to warn him - but it should at the very least prevent the owner's data being raided.

Intel is mandating the tech at Ultrabooks, though it may be present on other, third-generation Core i-based notebooks too. AT is not mandatory to the user - handy since it involves paying companies like Intel subsidiary McAfee, Norton, Absolute Software and even Intel itself to host the service.

Phones and tablets are arguably easier to swipe than laptops, so extending AT to Atom system-on-a-chip-based devices is a clear next step for the technology. ®

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