05 April 2006

What's next for Undercover?

If you are an Undercover user, you might have already asked yourself this question. Here is a summary of our Undercover plans for the months ahead.

The next version will be the 1.6 update that will make Undercover significantly smarter while consuming even less bandwidth (not that Undercover is currently a network-intensive app, but any improvement in this area goes a long way). I can't go into more detail right now, but development is going well and we hope to release this update before the end of June.

At the same time, we are working on a method that will enable you to closely monitor Undercover. Many people asked for such a piece of software. It's coming, although it might not be ready to be released alongside the 1.6 update.

Finally, we are currently planning the 2.0 release. This second version of Undercover will most likely be released in 2007. We do have a couple of ideas ourselves of course, but we are also wondering what features you would want to see in this release. If you have any ideas for great new features in Undercover 2, please let us know and/or post a comment.


Anonymous said...



Something worth considering?

Alan said...

I absolutely love the idea of your program, and I love it's implementation - except one thing.

I was looking to purchase software like yours last week, but there was a problem that I had with it. I posed a question to AskMeFi about it, and based on their answers, I couldn't go through with the purchase.

I know you say that the program cannot be uninstalled by a complete reinstall of the OS as long as an OpenFirmware password is set, but as was said in the quesiton, that's not that hard to overpower. A basic google search of 'OpenFirmware Password Reset' leads you to the answer, and even a basic theif and/or fence can at least do that search.

At that point, your laptop is as good as gone.

I like your product, I really do - and would love to beta test it for you as soon as I get my MBP in the fall. I think once you are able to house the program in the OF layer of the computer - THEN you'll have a mousetrap device. The idea of a laptop, even one that is sold, wiped, has it's hardware configuration reset, etc. being traceable and recoverable - that is amazing.

I know that many of the cool parts of the program, such as the iSight communications and screenshots may not be accessable in this form, so perhaps a two part program is required - one that is defeted by reinstalling the OS, and one that is firmware resident. This might work better, luring the theif into a false sense of security after they reinstall the OS, but in reality still sending data to your servers.

Please take this in the spirit it's ment. You have not lost a customer, but I'm still waiting for you to make this unstopable. You're almost there, but it's going to take some more time.

Email me at plaidrabbit at nospam gmail dot com, omitting the nospam part if you want to talk about this further, or I'll check the comments here for a bit.

Hope this helps,

Alan Slone

Angel Hernandez said...

I'd like to second the iAlertU functionality, paired with an automatic transmission/report to Orbicule that the laptop has been stolen after the alarm has sounded. Maybe to reduce false alarm reports, the computer would transmit after the alarm had been triggered for 1-2 minutes or so. Also, I don't know if it's possible, but if there's a way to keep the computer from going to sleep when the screen is shut, this could allow the computer to automatcally transmit to Orbicule while the thief is making the intial getaway if the computer was connected to a WiFi network at the time. On many university campuses it would take more than a few minutes before one would reach the perimeter of the network.

I think the automatic transmission of the stolen computer is important, because many times when theft occurs, other items such as your cell phone, backpack, organizer, purse, etc, might be taken as well; so if you're in a public place (which is most likely), it might take a person a few crucial hours to track down Orbicule's phone number or to send an email to you guys to make the report manually.

Also I think it would great if users could flag any file/application on the hard drive to be encrypted once the computer was reported stolen.

Peter Schols said...

Alan, we continuously try to make Undercover harder to remove and more secure. Integrating Undercover into the firmware is not an option though, as it's technically impossible, afaik.

Joshua W. Praw said...

I wouldn't mind seeing a web access feature.

If my laptop is stolen, there could be a consol through oricule.com that has an array of options such as a map of where the laptop is in accordance to your current position. Another facet of the consol could be viewing images of the culprit through iSight or screenshots.

Just some ideas, I think a hosted consol that could be accessed anywhere in the world through orbicule.com would be useful.