Mobiles, our beloved pets

Once in a taxi I heard a strange mobile ringing. Its owner was calling in hope that somebody would return his lost phone. I had lost my mobile the same way, in a taxi in Buenos Aires, and after I called it, an old lady returned it to me.

The lady had a dog. 

A lost mobile is like a lost pet on the scale of desperation. Nowadays you don’t just loose a phone, you loose an emotional investment: all your friends’ numbers, addresses, pictures, notes, tasks, games, music. Not to mention money. 

We put a collar on dog’s neck saying ‘My name is Snoopy and I live…’ Mobiles are lost all the time. And mobiles are better equipped than animals: they have means of communication. They are means of communication. Cats can find their way back home from a great distance. Meanwhile you post its pictures on lamp posts and go looking for Fluffy in the neighborhood. How can a lost phone find you? Can your phone post your pictures? Phone your friends? Display your picture to the finder? A mobile, knowing it is stolen, unlike a dog, should become nasty to the thief while being friendly to the person with intends to return it. Your telecom operator could start posting ‘phone lost’ messages to users living in the concerned area. ‘Watch out for a Nokia lost in a taxi at the corner of…’Your operator – or yourself – could offer free SMS to honest finders, as a reward.

A friend recently left her mobile in a cafe. I called her number and a waiter picked up. Upon retrieving her phone he wanted to know my name as he had seen it on the display, to make sure it was I who had called earlier, and that my friend was the rightful owner. An interesting use case?

Related reading:
Our phones, ourselves
Robotic phones

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