One of the most annoying phrases ever uttered has to be: ‘You’ve lost it? Well where did you last have it?’

And one of the most commonly mislaid but useful items has to be the mobile phone. Finding these again if they’re within ringtone range isn’t that tough, but if they’re too far away for calling your own number to be an option, they’re often as good as gone.

That’s the thinking behind a company called Yougetitback.com, a savvy firm that knows that, much as we love to hate them, we’ve become as dependent on the blasted things as, er other things we wish we weren’t hooked on (booze, fags, email – insert whatever it is you can’t envisage life without).

Pure carelessness isn’t, of course, the only reason one may find oneself sans handset. The Asbo kid of this blog’s title may well have something to do with the unexpected disappearance of one’s lifeline to the civilised world too. So as well as tagging mobile phones and personal digital assistants, the so-called e-tag, an application you install on the gadgetry, can track its location and prevent anyone from using it.

We’ve heard of similar ideas whereby the phone emits a godawful screech, alerting all around to a theft in progress – until the thief removes the battery or it goes flat of its own accord.

The Yougetitback.com system may be a little cleverer than that: the user, on finding their phone or PDA absent, logs on to the service’s website and activates an alert that triggers e-tag wallpaper to appear on the handset’s screen and prevents calls to anything other than the Yougetitback call centre. A modest reward awaits the honest phone finder while the grateful owner avoids a hefty phone bill.