Intel and Ericsson, as large providers of chipsets and mobile broadband modules respectively, are pretty well placed to collaborate to bring some kill-switch technology to laptops featuring both companies' tech. The joint effort means that Intel Anti-Theft PC Protection Technology (IAT) is compatible with Ericsson WWAN modules. Think of it as an Intel and Ericsson flavoured version of the Lenovo SMS kill-switch recently reported on, but slightly more sophisticated.
That extra sophistication stems from what IAT can do over and above simply allowing notebooks to be disabled (and unlocked) on command via SMS. IAT is able to use a built-in GPS module to allow automatic disablement of a laptop when taken outside a designated area. That GPS functionality can also report back to the system's owner where the machine is, aiding recovery of the stolen property.
IAT offers pretty comprehensive lock-down options. These range from a simple blocking of the boot process to the deletion of encryption keys from the machine, say in a Trusted Platform Module. Obviously those would need to be backed up for that to be.
The end result of all this is that anyone stealing an Ericsson and IAT protected laptop is going to be asking for trouble.
Products using the tech will be available from the second half of 2009, so any budding thieves out there still have a reasonable amount of time to ply their trade. Not that we endorse such activity.