Mobile

New Apple patents turn your phone into a car locator

Apple patent - vehicle location in weak location signal scenarios

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 »

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