Orbicule Announces Undercover 3 with Location Technology

SAN FRANCISCO -- At this week's Macworld Expo, Orbicule demonstrated Undercover 3, the newest version of the Mac anti-theft product. Peter Schols, Creative Engineer, briefed us on the features of this product.

Undercover is software that you install on your Mac running Tiger or Leopard. During installation, you are provided with a unique ID. In the event that your Mac is stolen, you send the Undercover ID to Orbicule and report the theft to your local police. Then, if your Mac appears on the Internet, Undercover will do a number of things.

New in version 3 is the ability to locate your mac using Skyhook, the same service that provides location services to products such as early iPhones and the Eye-Fi Explore. Undercover will also take screenshots of the stolen machine, which can help identify the person if they are running applications like email or chat. If available, Undercover will use your built-in iSight camera to take a mug shot of the thief.

If the aforementioned steps fail, Undercover will then activate Plan B. In this mode, Undercover will simulate a hardware failure by dimming the screen over the course of 30 minutes, until the machine becomes unusable. This will hopefully prompt the thief to bring the machine to a repair shop, where it will hopefully be placed online so the location mechanism will find it. If it does get online, Undercover will then show a full-screen message stating that the Mac has been stolen, and provides Orbucule's contact info. Additionally, the Mac will start shouting this message.

Undercover 3 is priced at US$49, and will be available January 20.