Hands Off My Apple! Future iPhones Could Use Recognition Tools to Deter Theft

Hands Off My Apple! Future iPhones Could Use Recognition Tools to Deter TheftThat’s my apple!

An Apple invention published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office this week describes a method by which an iPhone can set off an alert or automatically lock the device based on detected changes in user behavior.

According to AppleInsider, “Apple’s patent application for “Generating notifications based on user behavior,” an iPhone or other mobile product employs behavior recognition techniques to determine whether the current user is the device owner. When usage patterns don’t match those of the owner, an alert, notification or system action is triggered.”

How does it work?

“The system relies on pattern recognition and learning to parse out unusual behavior,” says the story. “Any form of input or interaction with the device can be compiled for behavior data acquisition, including system data like location, motion sensor data, and input gesture patterns.”

And that’s not all. The system could analyze other data –like grammar, vocabulary, and even keyboard orientation preferences — that may be stored for later recall and analysis.

The invention is intended to constantly monitor user behavior, comparing it to historical data known to be associated with a device owner.

“Due to the privacy concerns, the behavior learning server can be programmed by the user to ignore certain types of behavior like location preferences,” the story relates. “In these cases, generalizations and relative positioning replace granular data, protecting individuals from intrusive analysis.”

When a threshold is breached — meaning unusual behavior has been detected — the recognition server may transmit a signal to remotely lock the device until a user verifies themselves via password or some other form of trusted identity.

“Alternatively, the server can send out a notification to a third-party device, or another mobile phone owned by a different party,” according to spokesmen. “An example offered in the application is that of a care worker receiving a notification when an elderly device owner falls or exhibits behavior indicative of incapacitation.”

Apple’s behavior learning patent application was filed last January with credits to Gregory T. Lydon and Sylvain Rene Yves as the inventors.

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