In light of the Hacking Team revelations and reports of the British intelligence agency GCHQ gaining access to internet routers, the advent of the Turing Phone, supercar equivalent of a smartphone, promises privacy conscious consumers the ultimate defense, an unhackable phone.
Named after famous British cryptographer Alan Turing - who cracked the Nazi encryption machine Enigma during World War II, the 5.5-inch, full HD screen, smartphone runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop. Its sharp edges and multi-coloured shell is supposedly inspired by the spaceship called Endurance in the movie Interstellar.
The sleek device, however, has a slightly dated chipset and processor. The Qualcomm MSM8975AC Snapdragon 801 chipset that Turing Phone is equipped with, powered cell phones released in mid-2014, like the HTC One (E8) and LG G3. This chipset is an updated version of the one found in the Samsung Galaxy S5.
The 2.5 GHz quad-core Krait processor is coupled with 3GB RAM and you can choose between 16, 32 and 64GB of internal storage. However, the specs probably would not matter to the discerning customer that Turing Robotic Industries is targeting.
The San Francisco, California-based company says its mission is to “help individuals and organisations create trustworthy networks in which communications and data are safe from cyber threats.”
However, it remains to be seen what kind of cyber-defence mechanisms will the phone come loaded with given how it runs on Google's Android - a platform for which Hacking Team was revealed to have extensive intrusion capabilities against.
The company claims the phone employs “decentralised authentication technology,” which allows the device to directly verify the identity of other Turing devices without the need for third-party verification.
"First there were feature phones, then smartphones and now cipher phones," Turing Robotics Industries CEO SYL Chao recently told Mashable. As Chao explains, the cipher phone is the next evolutionary stage of the mobile phone. These phones have private, protected communication networks, and futuristic design.
“Our vision with the Turing Phone is to help mobile users navigate within a circle of trust,” Chao said in April when the device was launched. “We're beginning with the smartphone and plan to rapidly extend this technology into robotics and other domains linked to the Internet of Things, where security concerns are a huge impediment to innovation.”
“Not everyone wants to drive a Volkswagen,” Chao, the CEO of the enigmatic company, recently explained. “There are people who like Aston Martins, Lamborghinis, and Ferraris. Right now, most phones are Volkswagens.”
And that is what Turing Phone aspires to be – a supercar.
The story first appeared on Wired.