This text will self-destruct in 40 seconds

Next year self-deleting emails and photo messages too…

Next year self-deleting emails and photo messages too…

A service offering Mission Impossible-style text messages that "self-destruct" after they have been read has been launched.

Staellium UK said that its StealthText service will allow business executives dealing in sensitive information to send texts which will delete themselves from the recipient's mobile phone as soon as the person has read them.

Once a message has been sent, the recipient receives a text notification showing the sender's name and providing a link to the message.

Once opened, the message will disappear after about 40 seconds. Staellium said it has already had interest from financial services companies, the Ministry of Defence and celebrity agents.

"The ability to send a self-destruct message has massive benefits for people from all walks of life, from everyday mobile users, through to celebrities and business people, but this is just the start," said Staellium CEO Carole Barnum in a statement. "In spring 2006 we will be launching new services such as self-destruct email, voice and picture messages, so ultimately no one will ever have to worry about their messages or pictures ending up in the wrong hands ever again," she added.

The service is currently available around the world for users of UK SIM cards only but the company said the service will be available across Europe, in the US and Asia next year.