Mobile phone anti-theft system 'could make phones too slippery to steal'

Rob Waugh
Contributor
thief stealing smart phone from traveler woman backpack

Mobile phone thieves could soon be ‘shaken up’ by a new anti-theft system - which turns phones too slippery to hold.

A patent from tech giant Ericsson describes a system where devices can go into ‘low friction’ mode when they identify they’re being stolen.

The mode would see the devices vibrating rapidly so they’re difficult to hold on to.

The patent application says, 'In this mode, the unauthorised user would have a more difficult time gripping the device.'

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The technology, known as ‘adaptive friction’, could also be used to make phones more ‘grippy’ so that users can hold on to them more easily.

The patent application says, ‘'The increased or maximised level of friction in this "high-friction mode" may make it easier for the user to grip the housing of device with his/her fingers without inadvertently dropping the device.'

The tech could also make mobile phones less ‘sticky’ when needed - so (for instance) credit cards don’t come out of a user’s pocket along with their phone.