It is a slow post-Christmas Saturday, a perfect day for a feel-good piece courtesy of CBS News and Microsoft. The short video segment showcases the Microsoft My Phone service which, amongst other things, allows users to locate and retrieve a lost mobile phone. Watch as host Natali DelConte tosses her AT&T HTC Pure into the back of a cab as it drives straight into the heart of New York City. Laugh Be concerned when the GPS signal fails and the phone is no longer traceable, seemingly lost forever. Smile when her phone is returned to her, not through some fancy GPS locating service, but through the kindness of others who responded to her phone’s “I’m lost, call Natali” distress message. No, it’s not the caliber of It’s a Wonderful Life but for a tech blog on a Saturday, it is about as heart-warming as you can get. Video after the break
So check this: AT&T just launched a service called FamilyMap. It basically let’s you locate any number on your AT&T account for a monthly fee. Here’s the thing though… besides the first notification text message alerting that subscriber they are being tracked, everything else is completely silent. For instance, we signed up and were able to track both an iPhone 3G and a Bold completely without any visible indication. No text message, nothing. What’s even more strange, however, is that this isn’t just using cell tower triangulation, it actually can activate the GPS chip. How messed up is that? Something is wrong with this picture… But hey, for only $9.99/month for two phones or $14.95 for five phones, you can have the pleasure of being as freaked out as we are.