Lenstag is hoping to give evil camera thieves second thoughts before they steal your gear. It’s a brand-new database by Google engineer Trevor Sehrer which aims to make it harder for thieves to sell their ill-gotten wares.
Lenstag is dead simple. You sign up and add your gear. This is done by tapping in the serial number and also snapping a photo of that same serial number to prove that you have the actual hardware. A real human compares the two to confirm them, and you’re in.
From here, you can do two things. If your gear is stolen, you can mark it so. Buyers can then check the database to see if the stuff they’re being offered is legit. This of course relies on buyers actually bothering to look things up, but I guess that you as a registered user could add the LensTag link to your sales ad to promote the service as well as making yourself look better.
When you come to sell your stuff, you can use the site to generate a number which you then pass on to the buyer to make a transaction that Lenstag will recognize, allowing you to trasnfer ownership.
And at the very least, you will have written down the serial number and snapped a photo of your gear, which will let the police get it back to you if it’s ever recovered. I just signed up and I’m gonna add my gear right now (I wonder if I can put my iPhone in there?). If we all do the same then maybe we can make this service useful.