Setech Viet, a small unknown one-and-a-half year old company in Ho Chi Minh city just released a device that allows you to text your own motorbike if you’ve lost it. This is a welcome product for Vietnamese folks concerned about their belongings being stolen off the city streets, and at 1,550,000 VND ($75), the anti-theft device is certainly affordable – especially since most new motorbikes run anywhere from $1000 to $20,000+.
With Vietnam’s burgeoning motorbike culture, at last count in 2011 – there were more than 33 million motorbikes in the country – it’s a massive market for a motorbike thief. So much so that the authorities are finding new and unique ways to address it. Just this week, the municipal police of Ho Chi Minh city declared a VND 5 million award (that’s US$250) to citizens that could catch a thief. Before any of the vigilantes start hitting the streets in capes and tights, Setech Viet is stepping in to give motorbike drivers some security.
The device, dubbed S-Bike, operates with a SIM installed, and receives texts from any phone. Pre-installed with its own Setech Viet software, when activated via the SIM card, the device can whistle, turn off the motorbike and even send GPRS coordinates (with a Google Map link).
The device echoes a similar idea from Indonesia by some clever young school kids, only that one was for cars. Android users will also be happy to know that Setech Viet has even released its own Android app. The problem the company may face, though, is a particularly clever thief population who have been known to disable even Apple’s Find My iPhone function.