Qualcomm said its Snapdragon processors can include hardware that helps kill switches designed to make stolen smartphones useless.
The chip maker revealed a range of mobile-based kill switch solutions on Sunday, such as Safeswitch, which lets smartphone owners remotely lock their devices if they get lost or stolen, according to ZDNet. The technology would allow users to avoid making their devices completely useless and gives them the ability to unlock them later.
The new solutions rely on hardware instead of software. Raj Talluri, senior vice president of Qualcomm, said using both software-based and hardware-based kill switches improves theft victims' chances of keeping their phones safe.
"It's just a lot more secure," Talluri said.
The announcement follows California Gov. Jerry Brown's signing of a bill that requires all smartphones sold in the state by July 1st, 2015 to feature a kill switch, Android Headlines reported. Under the new law, users have to be given the chance to set up the service when they first activate the phone.
Kill switches are just one of the tactics developed for fighting smartphone theft, which include undercover operations in San Francisco and wireless carriers sharing blacklists of IMEIs from stolen phones, which would help them block stolen devices from their networks.
The new law also states that a fine between $500 and $2,500 will be issued for handsets that don't come with kill switches, ZDNet reported. Other tech giants have already developed kill switch solutions for their devices, such as Apple, which requires the user's Apple ID and password to reactivate a locked phone, and Samsung, which lets users remotely brick stolen phones.
Qualcomm said it is working on other kill switch solutions, such as teaming up with the Fast Identity Online Alliance (FIDO) to create biometric standards and use biometrics to improve mobile security.