Apple patents movement-based iOS theft detector

By , Nov 1, 2012

Are you worried your priced iOS or Mac gadget may be stolen? Don’t fret, Apple’s got your back, according to a new patent filing. Apple plans to use the accelerometer inside iOS devices to detect a theft, then sound an alarm.

Key to preventing those annoying car alarm-like false alerts, Apple’s idea includes a special controller which ignores normal bumps and drops, instead listening for signals indicating a snatch-and-grab…

To tailor each device to its individual user, the alarm’s sensitivity can be set, allowing your roommate to deftly open your iPad, but not permit a thief from snatching your iPhone from your pocket. Like all good alarm systems, the one proposed by Apple lets you enter a password to disable the alarm, reports AppleInsider.

Because current iPhones, iPads and iPods don’t include the signal processor and filters required to turn your accelerometer into an effective watchdog, the patent is presumed to be aimed at only future iOS products.

While this patent to ward off thieves is a first in that includes the accelerometer in Apple’s security toolbelt, the Cupertino, Calif. company has stolen iDevices on the brain. Just last month, the company filed a patent describing biometric capabilities to measure heartbeat and voiceprint.

All of which says something about the state of smartphones. Previously, phones were seen as disposable objects that are tossed or donated, when no longer needed. Now smartphones, which can cost hundreds of dollars to purchase and operate, have become like automobiles, which are bought, sold or traded-in.

What do you think?

Will theft-detection systems be as important when choosing your phone as whether a handset runs iOS or Android?

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • http://twitter.com/myorangeisstuck wahaha

    Damn, waiting for a new iPhone, iPod and iPad now:)

    • http://twitter.com/franklylife Frank Anthony

      Have you purchased the ones already in the market? Now i see you’re one of the people that made Apple to change & outdate old devices in just a few months all in the name new stuff. At the end of the day, same damn thang!

  • http://twitter.com/IvnPersie Ivan polanco

    All apple has to do is disable the stupid devices from beeing able to turn off while locked! That way the thieft can be tracked wherever he goes wothout being so easy for him to just turn off the device right when they steal it bc it is the first thing they do.

    • Sina

      Impossible, imaging you forget your device PIN and you need to put your device on DFU mode to restore it. Now what ?

      • Falk M.

        Provide the device your Apple ID credentials and use that as authentication? :)

      • http://twitter.com/IvnPersie Ivan polanco

        Can u really forget ur device’s pasword seriouslly? One goes into their phones at least 150 times a day which makes very silly for someone to forget their pass besides Falk’s idea is also brilliant where you can use your apple credentials to acces it and reset your password… And even tho if u happen to forget your password you are still able to restore your device to factory settings without passcode, you can still enter dfu mode not knowing your pass.

      • Sina

        I never forget my PIN, but it could happen to someone. I also agree with Falk M.’s idea. I mean they can’t prevent user (or thief) to turn off the device, because they can easily remove the SIM Card and it’s untrackable (w/o Internet access).

      • http://twitter.com/IvnPersie Ivan polanco

        Yeah i agree but my point is it should be a little harder for a thieft to steal a phone at least if they cant turn it off it will buy you a few more momments to track it down because loterally the second if falls into the wrong hands all they do is press the sleep wake button and slide and boom the phone is long gone… In the other hand if the thieft tries to get the simcard out hell have to find a clip to do it and by the time he does it could be too late for him to get his ass kicked im just saying apple should make it a little harder to at least power off.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=539008191 Luc Thibault-vallée

      remove sim card ……………….

    • Schalkb

      Dude I totally agree. I have suggested this a few times to Apple’s feedback page. But no result…. When will they realise….

    • http://twitter.com/RafaDeutner Rafael Deutner

      you know what’d be great? an option on find my iphone who’d let the iphone conect with any open wi-fi available, so even without the sim card it would works.

    • http://twitter.com/jalexcarter Jordan Carter

      jailbreak and install powerguard app, it does exactly that, you have to enter a password to power down the device, simple and yet genius. just wish the chronic dev team would get movin on the iPhone 5 jailbreak so I can get that tweak along with countless others back. c’mon guys! I’m counting on u!

      • http://twitter.com/IvnPersie Ivan polanco

        No way!!! there actually is a tweak… Awesome thanx Jordan… Only thing is i have i5 as well so hopefully when jailbreak comes out its still compatible thanx for ur input

  • http://twitter.com/Pitchy Pitchy

    I thought there were apps that already did something like that… that when the phone is moved while the security app is activated, an alarm will go off.

  • Jonathan

    Just put a passcode on location Services, Find My iPhone and power off.
    Or be able to locate the device when the phone is off, so like keep GPS on but on very low power, and allow the device to be turned on remotely.

    • Falk M.

      Excellent ideas.

      GPS update on off maybe every half an hour so you can at least tell which state (in case of US) it is in. :)