We’ve always known smartphones and tablets to be devices that can be easily disabled remotely by manufacturers. But it turns out that smart TVs are in the mix as well thanks to a recent heist that forced Samsung to act on. The Television Block Function is a built-in feature that can be activated if the company finds out that a unit is stolen.
The Block Function can connect to the internet thus allowing Samsung to control remotely. This was confirmed by the South Korean firm mentioning that it has activated the feature on TVs that were stolen in South Africa. According to Samsung, the TVs will be disabled as soon as they are connected to the internet. The company will also look to use this feature in other markets if they are required to do so.
Mike Van Lier, Director of Consumer Electronics at Samsung South Africa, said, “In keeping with our values to leverage the power of technology to resolve societal challenges, we will continuously develop and expand strategic products in our consumer electronics division with defence-grade security, purpose-built, with innovative and intuitive business tools designed for a new world. This technology can have a positive impact at this time, and will also be of use to both the industry and customers in the future.”
Samsung also revealed that it can easily cross-check the serial number of TVs that are stolen and upload them on its servers. Once these TVs are connected to the internet, they are disabled and can only be enabled after the users submit their proof of purchase. This then renders them useless to anyone that might want to sell them illegally.