Apple was granted a number of patents today, including a couple that could have big implications for its range of mobile devices. One is an oldie but a goody, describing a Wii remote style 3D control mechanism that users sensors to determine its position in space, filed in 2006 (the same year as the Wii itself), and the other is a system for detecting, gathering and providing information about unauthorized users of a person’s iPhone or other mobile device.
The security measures are most interesting, and also most likely to produce some kind of tangible results users will see. Apple says in its patent that it could identify users based on factors like heartbeat via embedded sensors, photographs or voice recordings, combined with things like suspicious behavior. That would trigger a system to begin monitoring said user, taking photos, recording audio and snapping screenshots of behavior, as well as logging keystrokes and keeping a record of Internet usage. For extra security, the device could also be set to lock down/wipe when an unauthorized user takes control. Finally, the info gathered can be sent to the authorized user or authorities to help track down the unauthorized user. Apple also describes a way in which a device can be put into security mode depending on its proximity to another device, linked by NFC.