Locking a smartphone is necessary in most cases, but sometimes it can be a pain to be constantly punching in a few numbers, or pressing our fingers against a fingerprint scanner. It appears Apple has realized this, and the company is looking into a new way of doing things.
The US Patent and Trademark Office recently published a new patent from Apple, which details a technology that can sense the user's location, and then take that data to modify the unlocking code of the smartphone. We should refer to this as smart lock because everything nowadays that has improved features is called "smart."
The patent is pretty impressive to be honest. Just imagine the idea of having an iPhone that is capable of changing the passcode strength, depending on the user's location. If the user is at home, the GPS location feature could tell the phone to drop the need for the passcode, because in all honesty, why is there a need for a smartphone to be asking for a passcode while the user is at home.
Now, if the user is at the grocery store or a crowded area downtown, the location feature could activate the fingerprint scanner for stronger security, or higher security measures if the user requested it.
"Because some locations may be inherently more secure, such as a user's home or office, these locations may be considered 'safe' and require less stringent security," stated by Apple in its patent application. "It can be desirable to have decreased security requirements when the mobile device is at a secure location. Conversely, some locations may be considered higher risk or 'unsecure.' In these locations, it can be desirable to implement stronger security protections."
This is no doubt a smart move by Apple, and we all have to admit that the idea is quite innovative. However, there should be a backup plan if for some reason the user is unable to connect to the Internet in order to kick off the location services. If Apple can find a way to make this feature work while the user is offline, then that would be wonderful.
Apple has been working tirelessly in recent times to improve the security capabilities of the iPhone. The company's first major push into this direction is the fingerprint scanner found on the iPhone 5s. We expect this to feature on all smart Apple-branded mobile devices in the near future. In addition, Apple filed a patent back in March that shows the company is researching on a feature where users can synchronize their biometric data across all their Apple devices.
This means, users would only need to create their biometric data once on a single device, and then use it unlock their other devices without going through all the hoops all over again.