How could an iPhone tell it's being stolen?


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Author's Note

The first thing I thought of when I read through this patent application was, is Apple building the car-alarm equivalent for iPhones? And then I thought of how a good hail storm can set off a car alarm. What would the sensitivity of the iPhone alarm be, and how many people would be running to meetings with iPhone alarms sounding from their pockets as they go? While the technology doesn't yet exist (this patent was filed after the iPhone 5 was released), rest easily -- if this accelerometer-based theft device comes to pass, it sounds like there will be plenty of ways to adjust its sensitivity, or, just turn it off.

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Sources

  • Apple - iCloud. "Find My iPhone, iPad and Mac." (Nov. 9, 2012) http://www.apple.com/icloud/features/find-my-iphone.html
  • Cambell, Mikey. "Rise in Apple product theft accounts for over 14% of all major crime in NYC." Apple Insider. 2012. (Nov. 9, 2012) http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/09/25/rate_of_apple_product_theft_rising_in_new_york_city_accounts_for_over_14_of_all_major_crime
  • Wehrenberg, Paul J. "United States Patent Application, No. 20120278907. Acceleration-based theft detection system for portable electronic devices." U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 2012. (Nov. 9, 2012) http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-adv.html&r=1&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=(20121101.PD.%20AND%20Apple.AS.)&OS=PD/20121101%20AND%20AN/Apple&RS=(PD/20121101%20AND%20AN/Apple
  • Winkler, Rolfe. "Fighting the iCrime Wave." The Wall Street Journal. 2012. (Nov. 9, 2012) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443931404577550823904439852.html

Wired UK. "iPhone Accelerometer Could Spy on Computer Keystrokes." Wired Science. Wired. 2011. (Nov. 9, 2012) http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/10/iphone-keylogger-spying/