Apple iPhones Could Thwart Thieves, AttackersApple patent application suggests the company is looking to add personal security features to its mobile devices
To mitigate the threat of "Apple picking" – a term law enforcement officials sometimes use to refer to cell phone theft -- Apple's next iPhone may come with "attack detection mode."
The World Intellectual Property Organization has just published a patent application that Apple filed last June, titled "Mobile Emergency Attack and Failsafe Detection." It describes a way to set a mobile communications device to summon aid on the user's behalf if the user fails to interact with the device.
"While the device is in attack detection mode, certain events can cause the device to summon assistance automatically, even without further interaction from the device's user," the patent application states. "For example, while the device is in attack detection mode, if the device's user ceases to interact with the device in a specified manner for at least a specified period of time, then the device can automatically place a telephone call to emergency services (e.g., by calling 911)."
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Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio