Skyhook Wireless has designed a software based positioning system that uses WiFi to track and locate devices such as laptops, smart phones, and PDAs with wireless cards or chips.
The WiFi positioning system uses a database of more than 1.5 million access points across 25 major cities in the US and locates your device within 20-40 meters. Perfect for tracking down lost or stolen laptops. In fact, a company named CyberAngel Security Solutions is doing just that; they announced that they will be using Skyhook’s Wi-Fi positioning software to locate stolen laptops.
There is no word on exactly how the software performs its duty. I’d assume that there needs to be client software on the stolen laptop in order to communicate with an access point and send a signal out to a broadcast server allowing the company to trace the packet. Easily defeated, but there are a lot of dumb thieves out there, so hopefully this software will bag some bad guys.