Researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia have developed a new self-destruct mechanism that can destroy electronics within 10 seconds wirelessly or by triggering certain sensors.
The researchers are now planning to roll out the technology targeting government agencies and corporations who need an extra layer of security for computing devices that might get lost or stolen.
The first customers who will receive this new technology will be: Intelligence communities, corporations, banks, hedge funds, social security administrations, and collectors who handle massive data.
The KAUST researchers are now working on different models to trigger the self-destruct mechanism. One model uses GPS sensors for the trigger if the device is moved more than 50 metres away from its starting point. Another uses a light sensor to automatically trigger the self-destruct mechanism when the device is illuminated by a desk lamp. That test mimics a security scenario where a top secret device is moved out of a box and exposed to light. More testing will be conducted before launching the final product. These include more localized self-destruct options that require adjustment to the polymer layer in terms of its thickness and different heater locations allowing it to target specific components on a device such as a laptop’s memory chips.
The overall cost of adding the self-destruct security mechanism would likely be about $15 or less, depending on volume.