The makers of the tracking system used to help catch laptop thieves preying on travellers at, Tampa airport earlier this year have announced a similar system for handheld computers.

Computrace Mobile, from Absolute Software, is an asset system for customers who want to configure, manage, and – if theft is a worry - track handheld devices in the field. It can also be used to delete sensitive information on the handheld in the event that it goes missing.

Running as a client application, the software supports Windows Mobile versions 5 and 6, which means it can be run on popular handhelds such as Palm’s Treo 750, Samsung’s Blackjack, and Motorola’s Moto Q.

This complements the company’s established Computrace family of products, including Computrace LoJack for laptops, which has the specific feature of keeping tabs on a device’s physical whereabouts when connected to a network.

LoJack was used to trace laptops allegedly stolen by baggage handlers at Tampa airport, a very rare example of laptops disappearing into the blue yonder but later being recovered. A relative of one of the accused was reported to have used the stolen laptop to access a MySpace account, allowing employees in the Computrace monitoring centre to work out that it was once again ‘active’. Arrests were made.

“Organisations have traditionally struggled to manage mobile assets like laptops and handheld devices. With the availability of Computrace Mobile, Absolute is positioned to provide an asset management and data delete tool for mobile devices to help organisations avoid costly data breach penalties,” said Absolute’s CEO, John Livingston.

Pricing for Computrace Mobile has not yet been announced.