Apple patent application would let your phone know if it is stolen
The phone would look at factors such as location, motion and input to find unusual behavior. Other factors including vocabulary, grammar, typically used phrases and even a preference to hold the device in portrait or landscape orientation, could be employed. The actions taken by whomever currently is using the phone, would be matched against an historical database. The accelerometer could even help measure a person's gait to determine if the rightful owner is in possession of the phone.
If the phone determines that it is in unfamiliar hands, it could lock down automatically until a password is entered. Additionally, a third party device could receive a notification that John Doe's iPhone has been stolen. Considering that the public has lingering fears about security in the post-Snowden world, it is questionable whether any iPhone users would want to have every motion they make recorded by their smartphone.
Images from Apple's patent application
source: USPTO via AppleInsider
1. PhoneCritic (Posts: 372; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
In my opinion not a good Idea. In my case I sometimes lend my wife my phone because she may have forgotten to power hers up when she is going out. I usually end up taking her phone and powering it up at home. Would the police get a notification that my phone is stolen and then trace my wives whereabouts and arrest her because my phone alerted them it as stolen due to her different usage pattern? Not so keen on this feature.
2. technitude (Posts: 29; Member since: 19 Dec 2013)
I don't think the police would chase down and arrest phone thieves. But it would likely be noted in a database. Then they might get caught if this pattern happens with phone after phone.
Thing is, whether this patent is approved or not. Apple is stating that the capacity to develop and implement this technology now. This is an indication that Apple is (or will be) collecting data on where you go, how you go, and how fast you go. The patent application is merely a justification. I'm guessing down the road Apple will use this data in other ways. For instance if it knows you hit up McDonalds on Tuesdays at noon, you might be prompted with a Burger King pop up coupon at 11:30am.
6. techperson211 (Posts: 704; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)
I don't think this patent would work . A lot of NSA snooping location tracker.
3. AfterShock (Posts: 2879; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)
This is pretty innovative IMO, wonder who they bought recently.
4. mturby (Posts: 269; Member since: 09 Jan 2013)
These guys are great when it comes to patent ideas. Congrats apple, hope Google would innovate the sameway u do or even better.
PS: Android fan/user.
5. techperson211 (Posts: 704; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)
One thing for sure they're good in applying for patent. But being innovative?
7. mturby (Posts: 269; Member since: 09 Jan 2013)
if what u read up there is not innovation, then what is it?
8. magnanimus (Posts: 305; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)
I for one think thieves have gotten smart. If they turn your phone off and hard factory reset it, this wouldn't work. Having the phone fake a shut down and contact a 3rd party phone and turn on GPS when its is shut down without touch ID is more effective.
9. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3603; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)
These ideas are all out of publicly funded research and should not be patentable.