The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) approved the patent application of Apple for its technology that would allow the tech giant to track an iPhone or iPad even when the device is shutdown.
The patented technology entitled, “Apparatus and Method for Determining a Wireless Device’s Location after Shutdown was invented by Alexander Schlaupitz, Joshua Wurzel and Ahmad Al-Dahle.
The inventors of the technology explained wireless devices such as the iPhone or iPad will “automatically turn back on, send location and turn off again” after an initial shutdown.
In other words, an iPhone or an iPad seemed to be in a sleep-like state wherein Apple can still track its location.
Apple’s new technology provides more security
According to the inventors, the software or the hardware of the wireless devices activates during the power-down sequence of the device as described in one of the embodiment of the technology.
The inventors explained that the power-down sequence occurs when after holding the Lock and Home buttons on an iPhone and entering the power-down screen.
During the power-down sequence, users will be presented with options. One option is to enter a shutdown security code to disable the location security features before the wireless device shuts down. Another option is to bypass the code and activate the features during the shutdown.
Another feature of the technology is the automatic activation of the security features of the iPhone or iPad and will turn off the device when a user failed to enter the correct code after a specified number of attempts.
According to the inventors, when the security feature is activated, the current location of the device is “periodically transmitted over a designated communication channel” such as e-mail or text messages.
Based on the features of the technology, it is obvious that Apple intends to provide more security for the owners of its wireless devices. The technology is very useful to deter smartphone thieves.
Tracking features reduced smartphone theft
At present, Apple is offering the service called “Find My iPhone” that allows users to find the location of their device whenever they misplace it or if it was stolen. However, the service cannot trace the location of the device if it is turned off. Last year, a police used the app to find a missing woman, who was trapped in a ravine in California.
The Independent noted that since manufacturers started integrating tracking features and other security protocols on their mobile devices, the incidents of smartphone theft declined by 50%.