The Front Door Software Corporation has created an unusual deterrent to laptop theft - software that allows a laptop to talk, announcing to the world 'Get your hands off me, I have been stolen'.
Retriever, which costs £21, can be set to display a coloured banner indicating the laptop has been stolen, along with the audio alert.
Users must register the laptop online and then, if is stolen, log on to the website and report the theft. The website sends a message to the laptop to display the banner and play the audio alert.
The default audio alert is 'Help, this laptop is reported lost or stolen. If you are not my owner, please report me now'. However, users can change is to broadcast any phrase they like.
Carrie Hafeman, chief executive at the Front Door Software Corporation, told the Times that one user changed the alert to ‘You are being tracked. I am right at your door'.
The software will also alert police to the location if the thief tries to access the web from the machine. It also provides the ability to remotely change the password to stop thieves accessing the machine.