Apple Files Anti-Theft Patent for Its Devices

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Date: Thursday, May 17th, 2007, 08:24
Category: News

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In March of 2004, Apple submitted a patent application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a technique that would hopefully better guard its devices. The patent, credited to company storage chief Paul Wahrenberg, centers around an “acceleration-based theft detection system”, the device sensing its own motion and determining what’s happening from there.
And now, the interesting part. The patent filed describes how in many cases the theft of a device will introduce certain movement cues that aren’t experienced in everyday use. Rapid sustained movement qualifies as one of them, whereas according an accidental bump or drop would fit into the criteria of everyday use.
According to AppleInsider, a device could theoretically distinguish between a person stealing it and its legitimate user through the implementation of an accelerometer and the right software. Once a certain speed, position or vibational condition had been reached, the software could send a signal to the rest of the system, triggering an alarm or require a password to return to normal. Another section of the patent describes how the software could customize individual alarm settings to their specifications.
Click the jump for the full story…


fruitlogo1.jpg
In March of 2004, Apple submitted a patent application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a technique that would hopefully better guard its devices. The patent, credited to company storage chief Paul Wahrenberg, centers around an “acceleration-based theft detection system”, the device sensing its own motion and determining what’s happening from there.
And now, the interesting part. The patent filed describes how in many cases the theft of a device will introduce certain movement cues that aren’t experienced in everyday use. Rapid sustained movement qualifies as one of them, whereas according an accidental bump or drop would fit into the criteria of everyday use.
According to AppleInsider, a device could theoretically distinguish between a person stealing it and its legitimate user through the implementation of an accelerometer and the right software. Once a certain speed, position or vibational condition had been reached, the software could send a signal to the rest of the system, triggering an alarm or require a password to return to normal. Another section of the patent describes how the software could customize individual alarm settings to their specifications.
Apple has currently embedded accelerometer technologies in products such as the later PowerBook G4 models as well as the current MacBooks, the Sudden Motion Sensor technology sensing a suddent drop and stopping the hard drive from spinning before impact. This technology has also been described for the upcoming iPhone, which will sense its position and auto-rotate content should the device be flipped on its side, allowing the user to watch it in a different position.

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