The U.K. government is reportedly attempting to ban a series of mobile devices designed to look like luxury car key fobs (the picture just above this here text is a phone). Why? Because of their body-friendly ergonomics. According to a BBC report, people are sneaking the devices into prisons by putting them where the sun doesn’t shine. A previous stat claimed more than 7,000 phones were seized last year alone in the U.K. after people attempted to sneak them into prison.
These devices aren’t really designed to do much except be small. But it’s precisely that fact why officials are trying to get them banned. Right now, they’re available through eBay for about £50 (approx. $78 USD)—specs include a 1-inch 128×128 color screen and three hours of battery life. But the main problem is is that it gives prisoners the opportunity to communicate with the outside world; prisoners caught with phones carriers a maximum sentence of two years.
Not only are they designed very specifically, but the devices apparently have a low metal content, meaning traditional detectors have a difficult time detecting them. The BBC said law enforcement is beginning to use body orifice security scanners and high-sensitivity metal detectors to combat the issue. But that’s only a temporary fix until they officially get banned.
While most of the market is moving on toward phablet devices, there’s a very niche market that specifically makes phones for a subset of consumers that would do anything to sneak one into prison. Before you ask, no, TechnoBuffalo will never, ever do an unboxing of such a phone.