Apple’s 2017 flagship smartphone – said to be called iPhone 8 – will reportedly feature a major design overhaul and several upgrades to mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. That’s why experts believe that a large number of users may skip this year’s iPhone 7 and wait for the iPhone 8. Now a new patent granted to Apple hints that the 2017 iPhone may include a thief-catching technology.

iphone-8-concept
Image Credit: ConceptsiPhone / YouTube video

iPhone 8: Biometric capture of unauthorized user identification

According to a patent published (via Trusted Reviews) by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the future iPhones could store biometric information and pictures of would-be thieves to enhance security. The patent titled “Biometric Capture for Unauthorized User Identification” describes a “computing device” that could capture biometric information in response to “the occurrence of one or more trigger conditions.”

Currently, Apple gives users five chances to unlock their iPhones with TouchID. After that, they are required to enter a passcode. If someone who has stolen your iPhone 8 fails to unlock it in one attempt, the TouchID sensor, camera, and other sensors would store vital information on the unauthorized user. It could also store the location data, audio and time stamps to support the biometric information.

It may pose privacy challenges

The data can then be transferred to a remote server for further evaluation. The patent filing says Apple’s servers will cross-reference the data with an online database of known users. It’s worth pointing out that such a technology could raise privacy concerns. The Cupertino company had filed the patent in April this year. It’s too early to say whether this technology will be incorporated in the iPhone 8. Apple is granted dozens of patents every year, but only a few of them make it to finished products.

Earlier this week, Japanese publication Nikkei Asian Review learned from supply chain sources that Apple would launch three different models of the iPhone 8. The 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models will have LCD displays, but a third Pro version with a 5.5-inch or bigger screen will sport an OLED display. Samsung is said to be a major supplier of OLED panels for the iPhone 8.