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Kodak smartphone stunt has commuters thinking their phones have been wiped

Why it matters to you

Back up your smartphone data from time to time or you may end up disappointed.

So you’re hurrying to work and some guy with a camera crew in tow asks if you’d like a demo of a new “super-fast charger” using your smartphone. With your handset running on empty after an intense Ballz session on the train in, and no real desire to reach your desk a minute earlier than 9 a.m., you happily place your phone on the proffered pad.

Within seconds, you see messages whizzing up the display saying stuff like “deleting,” “deleting data,” and “deleting cloud backups.” In other words, it’s wiping all of your data.

Kodak pulled this precise stunt on unsuspecting commuters in London recently. As you can see in the video above, the pranked Brits react in a characteristically understated manner, possibly masking less polite thoughts such as, “I’m going to bust your ass arse for this,” or “Get me a cup of tea right now.”

“Is that supposed to happen?” one of the handset owners asks the man with the mic. “It’s just wiped my phone,” another says nonchalantly.

Cue sad music and shots of disappointed faces. There’s no wanton violence, fortunately, though they may have edited that out.

Speaking to the alarmed subjects, the interviewer establishes that, yes, there were rather a lot of important things on their phones, particularly photos. He then asks why they’d never saved the pictures by printing them off in case of such a calamity. According to Kodak, one in three people has lost photos on their handset, you see.

Just as you start wondering if Kodak has ever heard of more modern ways of backing up data, we learn that this whole sorry shebang is geared toward the promotion of Kodak Moments, an app that makes it easy to print off your pics! Brilliant!

And yes, the “wiped” phone was a planted device that the trickster cleverly switched before the “charging” started! Awesome!

While most of you still won’t ever think of printing off your smartphone photos, Kodak’s stunt is nevertheless a reminder to ensure you have a regular and effective way of backing up your phone data — whether to your PC or the cloud — in case something disastrous does happen to your device.

Digital Trends offers a few useful tips for Android users, and iOS users.