Smartphone Remote Control Without User Presence: For Good or Evil?

When 42Gears introduced the SureRC product to me, they introduced the capability to remotely control a smartphone without the user's cooperation as a great feature for simplifying the troubleshooting process. It's a key differentiator from competing products such as Zenprise and Bomgar, the company's founder informed me. (Read about Bomgar's remote control product and Zenprise's remote control product.)

As for me, all I could think of is revenge of the nerds.

Have a few enemies in the organization? Why not switch their phone to silent so they miss that big call from the CEO, or change all their ringtones to Lady Gaga songs while they're off at an important company meeting? Download 100 copies of a fart app? The possibilities are endless.

I'm kidding, of course. I know you would never do anything like that.

In all seriousness, SureRC is another remote control tool for IT to troubleshoot, manage, and monitor company smartphones. While offering the standard features of remote control (though not the extensive monitoring capabilities of more suite-like products), SureRC also lets you send a text message to the phone, automatically establishing a support session and letting you control the phone without the user having to follow your instructions to set it up. This could be used for wall- or car-mounted devices, or just to reduce user effort.

Another advantage to SureRC is that it's based on Virtual Network Computing (VNC) protocol. "Help desk staff do not need to learn a new tool if they have already used any VNC viewer program like RealVNC, which has been a popular remote support tool for controlling desktop computers," said Onkar Singh, founder of 42Gears.

SureRC works with Windows Mobile only right now, but they're planning to add support for BlackBerry and Android. The company is keeping an eye on the upcoming Windows Phone operating system from Microsoft too, but has not formalized plans to support it at this point.

A single user license costs $19.95. To learn more, visit 42Gears' website

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