Apple patent reveals tracking capabilities even if phone appears off

Apple is getting a bit of interest over patent news today, and not just because of a patent lawsuit the company lost in court yesterday. A new patent filed in January could allow for stolen iPhones and iPads to be tracked even when they are powered down.

The patent, titled “Apparatus and Method for Determining a Wireless Device’s Location after Shutdown" looks to tie into the Apple "Find My iPhone" app that works to triangulate the position of an iPhone to help its owner recover a lost/missing device. This new technology, if functioning properly, would allow iPhone and perhaps iPad owners to see the current location of their devices even if the units are powered down.

In the event a phone needs to be located and is powered down, the patent suggests the device has a timer of some kind that runs even when the phone is off. Once a request to locate the device is transmitted, the phone would trigger upon a certain time interval reached, activating a location update process in a low-power state.

Apple has not commented on whether or not the technology, once completed in testing, will be coming to current or future mobile Apple products. Should the tech be successful, it would make it even less ideal to steal mobile devices as 2015 will see the introduction of the kill switch feature across multiple mobile platforms. For the privacy concerned folk, this new feature may also add another level of complexity to government snooping.

Source: International Business Times

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