A screaming cell phone is a cellular telephone that is programmed to emit a noise like human screaming in the event that the phone is lost or stolen. If a device goes missing, an administrator can activate a kill switch that will render the device inoperable and wipe all stored data. Simultaneously, the scream alarm will sound.
"Scream technology" is provided as a service that can be used with any portable device equipped with wireless communication features such as a cell phone set, personal digital assistant (PDA), Blackberry, pager or notebook computer.
Although a screaming cell phone doesn't prevent theft of the device or ensure its return, it can protect any stored data and make the thief extremely conspicuous. Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO of Synchronica (a company that provides the service) explains the benefits of screaming cell phones: "According to industry sources, it takes on average only 30 seconds for someone to notice that their phone is missing, compared to an hour for a wallet or purse. Using our service, crime victims can be reassured that their information is immediately removed from the stolen phone, along with the satisfaction of annoying the thief with a screaming handset."