GadgetTrak Blog


Keep Your Camera Safe: CameraTrace helps recover missing cameras.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011


We are happy to announce the launch of CameraTrace. Formerly in beta as "GadgetTrak Serial Search," the tool is an advanced search engine that allows users to find images taken by a specific camera with just the serial number. The technology helps users track down stolen cameras as well as monitor copyrighted photos online.

CameraTrace now provides premium services including the ability to register a camera and receive real-time notifications when new images are found. Also included in the one-time $10 premium service fee is a metallic "Lost & Found Tag" with a unique serial number that provides an easy way for someone who finds a lost camera to get in touch with the owner. The tag also serves as a warning to would-be-thieves that the device is registered with the system.

John Heller recovered
his stolen camera after having it stolen more than a year prior thanks to CameraTrace.

The technology has already helped many track down their stolen cameras; crimes that would have otherwise gone unsolved. One such case allowed professional photographer John Heller to recover his $9,000 camera after having it stolen from him while on assignment a year prior. Using CameraTrace, he was able to find images captured by his camera a year after it was stolen. The camera had been sold twice, first on Craigslist and then on eBay. The evidence not only got Heller’s camera back, but also a stash of other stolen property being fenced. You can read more about the amazing recovery on TechCrunch and Gizmodo as well as on our blog.

The CameraTrace search engine uses a proprietary technology to scan photo sharing websites and extracts embedded serial numbers from images. The powerful grid computing technology has scanned and analyzed more than 5 billion images from the popular photo sharing site Flickr, consisting of all photos uploaded to the site from 2006 to the present, as well as images from other popular photo sharing sites.The system has identified more than 300 different high-end camera models across multiple manufacturers including Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Kodak that embed the unique camera serial numbers in the images the capture.

The new CameraTrace tool will have a significant impact on the theft of cameras, as thieves will now need to be concerned with the fact that a camera they steal today can be traced back to them in the future if someone uploads photos from it to the Internet. The company is working with law enforcement to scan serial numbers from older camera theft cases, as well as research other crimes the tool may help solve.

Here at GadgetTrak we have a long history of innovation and developing custom tracking and data protection technologies. Our patented technology is currently embedded in FLIR thermal imaging cameras, allowing them to be tracked if they are stolen as well as in assisting with export controls. We have also pioneered tracking and data protection technologies for laptops and smartphones that have led to amazing recoveries.

We will be at this year’s CES. To setup a meeting to learn more about our technologies at the show, please contact us at info@gadgettrak.com.

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