Mobile

New Apple patents turn your phone into a car locator

This dreaded moment has happened to everyone. You walk out of a store and panic seizes you. “Where did I park my car?” you ask. You’re then subjected to the wander of shame through the parking lot as you desperately try to locate your vehicle.

But thanks to two new Apple patents, this all-too-familar struggle might become a thing of the past. The patents detail how your phone can be used to help you find your car, even if you don’t have good reception. And no, it doesn’t use GPS, either.

The two patents, called “Automatic identification of vehicle location” and “Vehicle location in weak location signal scenarios,” demonstrate how any device running iOS could be used to create a breadcrumb-like trail from the moment you park your car to wherever you venture off to.

As soon as you park your car, your phone would use whatever data connection it can latch onto to mark your car’s location. Something like the ignition turning off or the driver opening the car door would trigger this action. From that point forward, your phone would track your motion as you move away from the car. When it’s time to go back to your vehicle, the sensors in your iOS device would help you estimate the trail back to your car.

This is pretty creative as it uses the sensors already built into iOS devices and doesn’t require any extra hardware.

Integrating iOS with vehicles isn’t new. Back in January, Apple showed off its new design for an in-car iOS dashboard. Then in March, Apple launched CarPlay to make car iPhone use a little bit safer.

More information:

Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple software includes t... read more »

iOS is the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, continually redefining what people can do with a mobile device. Together, the iOS SDK and Xcode IDE make it easy for developers to create revolutionary mobile apps.... read more »

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25 comments
R M
R M

Its a rubbish patent. Obvious

Rach Harvey
Rach Harvey

heheh yes good call Kylie Anne Mason xx

Kylie Anne Mason
Kylie Anne Mason

As long as you don't lose your phone...\U0001f601\U0001f61c\U0001f618

Rach Harvey
Rach Harvey

Michael J. Sumner yay i'll never lose my car again lol

Joe Fox
Joe Fox

Turns out that this has been around since screenshots could be taken of the map screen with the "my location" pin. Silly patent office.

Ben Looi
Ben Looi

Technology for technology's sake. If you can't remember where you park, you really shouldn't be driving.

Martin Wardener
Martin Wardener

you know that point during a game of monopoly when one player has all the good streets, with hotels on them? that's where technology is heading..

Erik Godin
Erik Godin

Btw Chung, I'm guessing you didn't read the article in detail? From the article: "As soon as you park your car, your phone would USE whatever DATA CONNECTION it can latch onto to mark your car’s location"

Chung Yang
Chung Yang

The underlying technology is what should be patented. (Probably already is).

Erik Godin
Erik Godin

I couldn't tell you, I'm not stupid enough that I need to rely on my phone to remember where I parked. Now I know what you're wondering, how do I know about the feature, right? Well, just so happens my phone is smart enough to know when I'm in my car and when I'm not. It shows up on Google Now. No actions required on my part. Again, I know what you're thinking, big brother right? Don't worry, Apple is 10x worst despite what they might have you think.

Park Clayton
Park Clayton

i've used ios from the original iphone up to iphone4, own/owned ipod shuffles, nanos, regular & touch ipods, still use my macbook and actually think it's apple best product which happens to not be ios.... meanwhile, as of the last couple years, I've been using android/google, started out with the Nexus4 and Nexus7 then moved onto my current phone being the samsung galaxy note3 and got rid of my nexus7 bc I needed something larger and instead of sticking with my original selection of the new 8.4" samsung galaxy s decided last second to get an ipad mini w/o actually trying it out which was my mistake... in all fairness, android is a better product, it's only downfall is that manufacturers who shouldn't be applying their software do so bc it is free and then they give it a bad rep as a result of their shoddy production let me just say that my note 3 is the best phone that i've used to date and it is superior than the ipad mini i just got and i plan on ridding the ipad mini and getting the galaxy s tablet!

Chung Yang
Chung Yang

How about inside a skyscraper buried 5 stories below in a parking garage? No wifi, no GPS, no cell data connection? Does it still work? This is what Apple is trying to solve.

Neil Jackson
Neil Jackson

If you can't remember where you parked, then maybe you are in no fit state to drive the bloody car anyway?

Erik Godin
Erik Godin

Google Now already does this. Apple is late to the game as always

Nadav Ben-Haim
Nadav Ben-Haim

this should not be something that you can patent.

Phil Nolan
Phil Nolan

Another patent on something Android already does?