According to Dave Smith of Business Insider, fire deaths are declining, but incidences of fire cause a lot of damage-related costs. The U.S. Fire Administration reported over 1.3 million fires which caused 3,005 deaths, 17,500 injuries, and $11.7 billion in losses in 2011.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s new invention would aim to reduce these numbers further through a number of technological innovations.
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The tech giant has claimed that the utility of existing smoke detectors is reduced because of their fixed locations, which may leave building occupants outside of its range and unable to hear alarms. Apple also maintains that the alarms do not pass on useful information to first responders.
The patent was published on Thursday and analyzed by Patently Apple, and includes a number of innovations for better fire protection, including collecting information about how many people are inside the building using “motion sensors embedded in Apple’s mobile and stationary devices.”
Other important points include the ability to work with Apple HomeKit, the company’s new system which connects all Apple devices in a building.
When the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) device detects smoke, it may have the ability to text or email emergency services, activate fire extinguishing equipment, sound an alarm, or send alerts to other electronic devices within the building.
Apple smoke detectors: A realistic prospect?
Attention has been drawn to the fact that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s planned alerts could contain “graphical representations of buildings.” Apple acquired an “indoor GPS” mapping company called WiFiSLAM for $200 million last March.
Paul Puskarich has been named as the sole inventor on the patent, which is one of many that Apple has filed of late. Many of the product patents never reach production, thus an Apple fire-safety system may remain just a good idea on the drawing board. It is a legal obligation for homeowners to have smoke detectors in their houses, so the market for an improved Apple version may be relatively small.
You can find the original patent here or read Patently Apple’s breakdown.