A new Apple patent application could see future devices from the company automatically lock themselves, alert their owners or even Apple should they be either used by an unauthorized person or modified in a non-permited way.
The patend is to differentiate between authorized and unauthorized users of a particular iOS device. Once an unauthorized user is detected, the device can then automatically disable certain features or send notifications to Twitter or other services.
The patent, named “Systems and Methods for Identifying Unauthorized Users of an Electronic Device,” describes several ways a device could sense who is using an iPhone or iPad. Among the methods considered are voice print analysis, photo analysis, heartbeat analysis (!), hacking attempts, or even “noting particular activities that can indicate suspicious behavior.”
This could prevent unauthorized use of the device, such as an iPhone, resulting in its rightful owner being notified via email, voicemail or other service, hacking, jailbreaking, unlocking, swapping SIMs or moving the device away from a preset area could also trigger either lock-downs or selective feature blocks.
In addition to full or partial blocks of this sort, the device could also take a photo of the person using the handset. The patent also describes various methods by which the Apple device could track an “authorized” user, including voice analysis, heartbeat sensors, cameras, accelerometers and preconfigured codes.
Apple apparently experimented with enabling the iPad to recognize different authorized users and automatically change some settings for that particular user. Such a feature could be somewhat useful on iPads, which are sometimes shared among family members in homes and among several users in schools and businesses.